Gas-dependent heavy industry owners said on Saturday that economically viable energy pricing was a must to sustain in the globally competitive market as imported costly liquefied natural gas was going to grab the place of other energy sources.
Addressing a roundtable hosted by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Motijheel in the capital, they raised concerns over the increasing trend of gas price hike over the years.
They said gas consumption metering through electronic volume corrector was crucial to avert miscalculation during billing.
Energy economist and former power division secretary Muhammad Fouzul Kabir Khan presenting the keynote paper raised question about the long-term use of the country’s first floating storage re-gasification unit which started operation this month at Maheshkhali.
He said that the re-gasification unit was already 13 years old and asked of what use it would be when Petrobangla would receive ownership of it after 15 years from now.
Mentioning that the neighbouring India imported comparatively low-cost LNG, he observed that Bangladesh’s LNG sales purchase agreement was not competitive, which created the scope for LNG price hike.
Insufficient supply of gas to industries also hampered proper operation and production, he said citing a recent survey.
Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association vice-president Md Shahidullah said LNG price hike in future would certainly affect the booming industry.
Bangladesh Auto Re-rolling and Steel Mills Association vice-chairman Zahirul Hoque Chowdhury said per tonne rod production needed at least 1,500MW power worth Tk 6,000 and it would rise if gas price was increased.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association representative Rajib Haider said the country’s primary textile sector would face huge challenge in global market if production cost increased due to energy price hike.
Professor Shamsul Alam, energy adviser of Consumers Association of Bangladesh, complained that Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission failed to redress grievances of energy consumers.
Dhaka University’s geology professor Badrul Imam said no exploration of gas field for the last four years prompted imports of costly LNG.
BERC member Rahman Murshed said that use of EVC gas meter would help reduce production cost in the industries.
Chief guest Md Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator (SDG affairs) of prime minister’s office, said that energy pricing depended on global markets which kept on fluctuating over political events.
DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan chaired the roundtable also addressed by DCCI directors and other businesspeople.
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