Production falls in textile mills because of gas shortage
DOT Desk:Production in the country’s export-oriented textile mills fell drastically due to gas supply shortage, millers said, adding that it might result in failure to achieve the $60 billion export earnings target set for the current FY23.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) said that millers would not be able to meet their administrative costs, including workers’ wage and bank-loan installments, if such a situation extended for a longer period,reports DhakaTribun.
The primary textile millers’ association in a letter on Thursday urged State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid to replace the existing 250 PSI (pounds per square inch) compressor of Rural Power Company Ltd (RPCL) at Mymensingh with 150 PSI ones to help improve the gas supply situation.
Some 300 textile mills located at Gazipur, Sreepur and Bhaluka have created employment for around 1 million people and their contribution to the foreign currency earnings is over $10 billion, according to the letter signed by BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon.
Production in the BTMA member mills is almost halted or at zero level due to the gas supply crisis, he said. The mills cover a wide range of sub sectors like spinning, weaving, dyeing, printing, finishing and knitting.
The gas supply situation has worsened further in recent times, he said, adding that if the present gas and energy supply situation continues, they might not be able to achieve the $60 billion export earnings target in the current fiscal.
The primary textile millers — the backward linkage industry of the country’s $42.61 billion readymade garment industry — supply most of the yarn and fabric required for the RMG exporters, the BTMA leader said.
One of the BTMA’s investigations found that electricity production at RPCL would sustain if the 250 PSI compressor is replaced with 150 PSI compressor, reads the letter.Such a move will help save gas as well as the mills that are struggling to continue production from 6pm to 7-8am due to gas supply shortage while the saved gas, if diverted to them, would help continue manufacturing activities, it added. The resource is being wasted due to RPCL’s wrong compressor installation, it alleged, explaining that the gas supply is being suspended from 6pm to next day morning and gas at high PSI is being provided to RPCL. During this period, the mills are not getting required gas. As a result, the mills’ production decreased to almost half, Khokon said in the letter.
The situation could be changed drastically if only one 150 PSI compressor is installed, he said, assuring his trade body’s support in this regard.
He demanded immediate measures to this effect and expressed the fear that the law and order situation may deteriorate if the mills become sick and fail to pay the wages.