Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) yesterday announced their decision of not enhancing gas price, “considering the overall situation”.
The regulatory body made the announcement from a press conference at the commission office in the city.
“In the present situation, we find no reason to raise the price of gas,” said BERC Chairman Monwar Islam while briefing reporters.
He said distribution companies appealed for a price hike, calculating the import of 1,000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of liquefied natural gas (LNG). But currently, the supply of LNG is 300 mmcfd.
Secondly, he said, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has given a supplementary duty waiver on the import of LNG. “That's why we don't allow the raising of gas price,” he said.
Commission member Mohammad Abdul Aziz, however, said the government would have to provide Tk 3,000 crore in subsidy to distribution companies so they can cover the loss they would incur due to the import of LNG. He said the commission would ask the government to provide Tk 1,400 crore from its short-term support fund.
He also said the commission will consider a price hike when 1,000 mmcfd LNG will be supplied to the national network.
Earlier, all eight state-owned downstream entities in gas sector -- six distribution companies, one transmission and an LNG marketing company -- had appealed to the BERC, seeking an average 75 percent hike on the existing gas prices for different consumer groups, except for households and commercial connections.
The upward price revision was sought for industrial consumers, power plants, fertiliser factories, captive power plants, and CNG refueling stations.
The distribution companies are Titas Gas Transmission & Distribution Company Limited, Bakhrabad Gas Distribution Company Limited, Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System Limited, Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited, Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited and Sundarbans Gas Company Limited.
While participating in the hearing, the entities argued that as per the government decision, they had to submit their respective price hike proposals because of the high import cost of LNG, as it will push up their cost substantially.
State-owned oil and gas company Petrobangla started supplying the imported LNG to the national gas network from August 18 through re-gasification by private sector-operated floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU).
Officials said currently 300 mmcfd LNG is being supplied, and it will be increased to 500 mmcfd in a month or two, and as per a government plan, 1,000 mmcfd gas will be flowed from next year.