PM asks for resuming gas supply to fertiliser factoriesStaff Correspondent
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday asked energy division and state-run Petrobangla to immediately resume gas supply to five fertiliser factories, Petrobangla chairman Hossain Monsur told New Age.
Hasina, who also holds the portfolio of power, energy and mineral resources ministry, instructed the authorities after a four-month suspension of gas supply to five fertiliser factories.
‘I have already instructed the concerned departments to take necessary steps to resume gas supply to the fertiliser factories as soon as possible,’ Monsur said.
In April, Petrobangla suspended gas supply to five fertiliser factories — Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Factory (CUFL), Urea Fertiliser Factory (UFF), Palash Urea Fertiliser Factory (PUFF), Ashuganj Fertiliser and Chemical Company Limited (AFCL) and Karnaphuli Urea Fertiliser Company Ltd (KAFCO)—for four months and diverted the gas to power stations to increase electricity generation during summer.
Petrobangla increased supply of more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day to the power stations in last four months.
However, two other fertiliser factories — Jamuna Fertiliser Factory Limited (JFFL) and Natural Gas Fertiliser Factory (NGFF) — received gas supply over the period.
When asked, Monsur said, it would need to ration gas supply to power stations.
‘But it would not disrupt power generation much as Petrobangla is ready to supply more than 2,300mmcfd gas to the national grid,’ he said.
Petrobangla supplies 46.3mmcfd gas to KAFCO, 4.5mmcfd to CUFL, 34.6mmcfd to UFF, 12.2mmcfd to PUFF, 37.2mmcfd to JFCL, 49.6mmcfd to AFCL and 11.3mmcfd to NGFF.
Officials of the industry ministry reportedly said that the government’s target for urea import would have to be increased from 1.5 million tonnes for 2012-13 financial year as the local factories would not be able to produce 1 million tonne fertiliser due to lack of gas supply.
According to latest data available with Petrobangla, it supplies about 2,260mmcfd gas against a demand for more than 3,000mmcfd.
Against the backdrop of a severe gas shortage, the government for a few years has been diverting gas to power plants from fertiliser factories on the ground that ‘it is cheaper to import urea than fuel oil for electricity generation.’
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Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday asked energy division and state-run Petrobangla to immediately resume gas supply to five fertiliser factories, Petrobangla chairman Hossain Monsur told New Age. Full story
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