Gas supply shortage turning captive power plants out of action, shutting down production at textile mills in some areas in Savar, Narayanganj, Dhamrai, Manikganj, Gazipur and Chattogram.
Instead of 10 psi (pounds per square inch) or more required for running the mills – the pressure is only 1.5 psi.
In this regard, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), at a recent press conference at a hotel in Dhaka, said no solution has come about over a scarcity of gas supply from the related body.
Mohammad Ali Khokon, President of BTMA said, “Lack of gas supply pressure has forced a reduction in the utilization of 70% of the production capacity.”
Khokon also said the solution to an earlier gas crisis came from government high-ups but this time around the govt. cannot promise supplies of adequate pressure.
“Thus, the $10 billion worth sector, which is mostly supplying yarn and fabrics to the local and export-oriented readymade garment (RMG) factories, is in a deep crisis,” Khokon added.
The decrease of production in the textile mills will also disturb garment exports as the millers will not be able to supply yarn and fabrics, he said.
Khokon also added that the crisis of yarn in the garment sector would be extended further if the spinning mills cannot operate efficiently due to a lack of gas.
The Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited (TGTDCL) only gave him oral assurances of supplying gas at adequate pressures but it was yet to appear.
The BTMA, a platform of the primary textile sector comprising spinning, weaving and dyeing establishments, has sent a letter to Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Energy Adviser to the Prime Minister, on Wednesday.
It wanted a solution for gas to be supplied at a higher pressure to run their industrial units.
On Wednesday, Ali Iqbal Md Nurullah, Managing Director of the TGTDCL, said any upgrading in gas supply was reliant on the 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,” Nurullah said.
At present, some 450 spinning mills have been catering to 80 percent of the demand for yarn of the local knitwear factories. They are the main consumers of gas.
In the letter, Khokon said the local RMG exporters may lose work orders from international retailers and brands if the spinners and weavers cannot supply yarn and fabrics on time.