25 ceramic factories are suffering from a gas crisis
25 out of 70 factories in the ceramic sector have been suffering from acute gas crisis for more than three months. For two weeks, the factories are not getting gas for half of the day, i.e. for 12 hours. The production of the factories is greatly hindered.
Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA) has officially written a letter to Prime Minister’s Advisor on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Taufiq-e-Ilahi Chowdhury demanding uninterrupted gas supply to ceramic factories.
At the same time, they demanded one year extra time to pay the installments of all kinds of loans of the ceramic companies as the production was damaged due to the gas crisis.
In the letter written to the Prime Minister’s advisor, BCMEA President Md. Sirajul Islam Molla said, Savar and Dhamrai of Dhaka for more than three months; Rupganj and Meghnaghat in Narayanganj; Kashimpur, Bhawanipur, Bhawal Mirzapur, Sreepur and Mauna in Gazipur; Panchdona of Narsingdi; A total of 25 ceramic products, tiles and sanitary ware factories in Bhaluka and Trishal in Mymensingh and Madhavpur and Bahubal in Habiganj are experiencing disruption due to severe gas shortage.
Ceramic factories require a gas pressure of 15 psi (unit of gas pressure measurement). But the gas pressure sometimes drops from three to four psi to zero. For 15 days, there is no gas for 12 hours from 6 pm to 6 am.
According to BCMEA, gas accounts for 12 percent of the total cost of producing ceramic products. Furnace requires 24 hours uninterrupted gas supply to prepare product. When the gas pressure drops, all the products in the process of production inside the furnace are destroyed immediately. It takes 48 to 72 hours to restart a closed furnace if the gas supply is normal. Product cannot be produced on time due to irregular gas supply. As a result, foreign brands are canceling purchase orders. Supply is also being disrupted in the local market.
According to the organization, there are currently 70 establishments in the ceramic sector. In the last financial year, the size of the domestic market for ceramic products was Tk 7 thousand 247 crores.
Artisan Ceramics exports ceramic products (tableware) to various countries including Europe. Their Gazipur factory has a daily production capacity of seven tonnes. Production has dropped by 35 percent due to the gas crisis.
Regarding this, Artisan Ceramics Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mamunur Rashid told Prothom Alo, rural electricity connection has been taken as an alternative measure to continue production. There is also problem due to load shedding. Production cost has increased by 35-40 percent due to gas-power crisis.
Mamunur Rashid claimed that the factory has to run at a loss and said, “Due to disruption of production due to gas and electricity crisis, exports have decreased by about 30 percent. Purchase orders have also been reduced. Customers are upset because of this. We are worried about whether they will give us purchase order next year or not.
The company secretary of RAK Ceramics, the leading tile manufacturer, Muhammad Shahidul Islam said, “Due to the gas crisis, the production of our company has decreased by 40 percent. Earlier, 32,000 square meters of tiles were produced per day. It has reduced to 18,000 to 20,000 square meters.
Advisor to the Prime Minister Tawfiq-e-Ilahi Chowdhury held a meeting with the business leaders of various sectors including ceramics at the Prime Minister’s office last Monday regarding the gas supply situation. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, Chairman of Petrobangla, Managing Director of Titus and others were present in it.
BCMEA General Secretary Irfan Uddin told Prothom Alo last night, “The advisor to the Prime Minister and the State Minister have assured the development of the situation within two months.
At the same time, they have asked us for specific information about where the ceramic factories are located and how much gas the factories use. Tomorrow (today Wednesday) we will give it.’