Gas shortage affects textile production
Production in textile mills in some areas in Savar, Narayanganj, Dhamrai, Manikganj, Gazipur and Chattogram has been affected severely due to a shortage of gas supplies to the industrial units.
The millers are fearing that they will lose work orders if production cannot be continued. Many have been running at 50 per cent to 60 per cent capacity because of the low pressure of gas in the industrial plants.
The millers also said gas pressure was so low that sometimes it reached 1.5 pounds per square inch (psi) although they were approved 10 psi or more for operations.
Md Mosharaf Hossain, chairman of Mosharaf Group, a leading spinner, said with good pressure of gas he could produce 140 tonnes of yarn in a day but the production had been lowered to 100 tonnes of yarn in a day now.
"I have been facing the trouble of gas pressure over the last one month and my investment is in trouble now because of lower production of yarn," Hossain told The Daily Star over the phone.
Hossain's investment in his spinning mill at Bhabanipur in Gazipur is of Tk 2,000 crore, he said.
Echoing him, Khorshed Alam, chairman of Little Star Spinning Mills Ltd, said the production in his factory had been lowered to 13,000 pounds from 22,000s pound per day.
His daily production loss at his Ashulia-based spinning mill, which mainly produces 80 carded yarn, amounted to Tk 26 lakh because of the shortage of gas supply. His factory has been running at 60 per cent capacity for many months.
The Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited (TGTDCL) only gave assurance to him of supplying gas at adequate pressure but the assurance is yet to materialise, he said.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), a platform for the primary textile sector comprising spinning, weaving and dyeing, has sent a letter to Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to the prime minister, yesterday, seeking a solution to be supplied higher pressure of gas to run their industrial units.
Ali Iqbal Md Nurullah, managing director of the TGTDCL, said the improvement of supply of gas was dependent on availability of gas in the pipelines.
"However, it is expected that the situation of gas supply will improve soon as we are working on the issue," he said.
The sufferers should also contact officials of Petrobangla so that the state-owned gas exploration and production company can also be aware about the gas crisis in the country.
Currently, some 450 spinning mills have been supplying 80 per cent of the demand for yarn of the local knitwear factories. They are the main consumers of the gas.
Mohammad Ali Khokon, president of the BTMA, in the letter said the local garment exporters may lose work orders from international retailers and brands if the spinners and weavers cannot supply yarn and fabrics on time.
Moreover, investments worth $10 billion in the primary textile sector will fall in trouble if the gas supply cannot be improved as soon as possible, said the industry people.