Bangladesh’s export-oriented textile and apparel sector has incurred production loss up to 60 percent due to gas crisis and gas price hike. This is putting burden on consumers by raising prices, also affect the country’s competitiveness in global market.
Recently the All Over Printing Technologists of Bangladesh (AOPTB) organized a virtual seminar to discuss about ‘The impact of gas price hike on textile industry and ways to overcome it’ where, several renowned textile experts participated and pointed out their valuable insights.
Engr. S.M Abdur Rahman, Executive Member, TED-IEB President, AOPTB inaugurated the seminar where he said, “We used to pay 13 taka per cubic meter in the last year, which increased to 30 taka having almost a drastic addition of 36 percent expense in the existing economic issues. We are also seeing a decrease in the availability of gas nowadays which is hampering our production.”
He threw a question regarding a recent price hike in the industry and ways to overcome in the shortest possible time.
Our textile sector has always focused on production side. We don’t have a dedicated machine industry, chemical industry or even cotton industry, yet we are manufacturing without having of these factors. We directly import our goods, materials, etc. from various countries. In this reality, one of the key factors for the development of textile industry in our country has always been cheap labor rate. However, due to production cost upturn, Bangladesh is losing its competitiveness.
Engr. Md Salahuddin Repon, Advisor of AOPTB, GMS Knit Composite, GM- Operation said in his speech, “We would get gas in cheap price from the gas fields under government supervision. We are not seeing new gas field discoveries in recent years. In this Russia-Ukraine war, our LNG supply has also deteriorated because of excess supply to European nations. We used to pay 3-4 crore taka for LNG which has jumped to 9 crore taka in this year.”
“We did not get excess price from the buyer’s end as our next month orders have already been confirmed before gas price hike. For this reason, we are experiencing losses on one side only. Still we are confident to solve this crisis together,” he said adding that “We have to adapt new technology and efficient working process as soon as possible.”
Mizanur Rahman, Advisor AOPTB, General Manager Operation, Nice Fabric Processing Ltd shared a negative practical effect towards consumers by saying that “Ultimately the customer has to bear the consequence of this gas hike. The overall cost increase of production is creating a ripple effect, for which the retail prices of apparel is going to be costly very soon.”
Guest speaker Engr. Ashraful Alam, Advisor AOPTB, Director printing, M.N Dyeing, Printing & Washing Mills Ltd. said, “We have to increase our production either by improving efficiency of our industry or by negotiating an increase in price with the buyers. Prestigious gas fields like ‘BIBIANA’ capacity is decreasing day by day. So, new discoveries of gas field and recycled energy sources like solar energy is the future ahead for solving this issue. We need to ensure energy saving practices by efficient process and techniques in our industry.”
Engr. Swapan Kumar Saha, Country Head, Bangladesh & Pakistan Liasion Office, KGS Sourcing highlighted buyer’s perspective saying, “China invested a huge amount of money in Myanmar Textiles for which lot of buyers are shifting their focus from Bangladesh to Myanmar. So, buyers have lots of different choices and regions to negotiate for the cheapest price. For effective solution to this problem, we are already initiating innovative techniques in boiler- like using milk to produce steam, reuse of steam in boilers, different machines to reduce M:L ratio etc.”
Tareq Amin, Editor & Publisher, Textile Today said, “We need to implement efficient technology and renewable energy resources – but we are in a shortage of time. In the whole supply chain situation, we are losing connectivity somehow after covid-19, which is being proven as a turmoil nowadays. We are constantly behind to negotiate with the buyers’ end which should be done immediately.”
“For the recent dollar crisis, our import cost has increased and export figure has gradually decreased. Our industry experts should look into these issues and try to get control over this situation as soon as possible,” Tareq Amin said.
Engr. Md. Abdullahhel Hossain (Bablu), Deputy Managing Director, Asiatic Group & Sanjana Fabrics Ltd. said about the solution of this emergency situation by using less gas and efficient consumption procedure and technology.
“We are using three of our 10 ton weighted boilers in factory, from which we are trying to use only two boilers at once, thus saving one boiler for emergency case only. We used to wash in approximately 90-100 degrees in the past; but we are using the same process at the least temperature possible by using the required amount of soaping agent. I can suggest of using boiler chimney heat for boiling water at like 400 degrees, safely using the boiled water for next procedure. In china, they are effectively running stenter machine at 100 rpm with less than 3 people working; but in our country we aren’t able to bypass the 30-40 rpm mark in the process. We must reduce steam wastage immediately.”
“We can implement cold wash process in the meantime for less process time. In Turkey, they have already developed ultrasonic cold wash in which entire process can be done at 40-50 degrees. We can immediately implement these inventions. We are used to consume 3 ton of acid in ETP plant per day; but now we can complete the same process for less than 1 kg per day. Thus we can improve our technologies and process for solving the gas price hike situation,” Abdullahel Hossasin added.
Engr. S.M Abdur Rahman sir said, “We should try to negotiate with the buyer with our utmost dignity immediately for saving ourselves from loss at this moment. We should effectively improve productivity as well for the sake of immediate loss of our industry. We are back rationing our resources in scouring, bleaching and mercerizing procedure. We are trying to solve this problem by working together and mutually sharing our resources, plan and execution.”
These effective seminars and sessions are a must needed approach for generating ideas and values with effective discussions. AOPTB has implemented a valuable discussion session which can pave the way ahead mitigating problems in the future ahead.