Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) on Tuesday urged the government to raise its average tariff rate for per cubic meter gas to Tk 0.4987 considering the cost of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) import.
TGTDCL managing director Mir Mashiur Rahman made the plea at a public hearing on Tuesday over the proposed price hike of natural gas.
“We require the tariff hike to overcome fund crisis, ensure private investors interest as well as implementing self funding projects,” said the TGTDCL managing director at the hearing. The TGTDCL has now over 27.34 lakh consumers.
At present Titas gas seeks per cubic meter tariff at Tk 0.4987 as against its present rate of Tk 0.2316. The technical evaluation committee, however, suggested for raising the tariff by Tk 0.0370 per cubic meter.
The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) sponsored public hearing. BERC chairman Monowar Islam chaired at the hearing which was attended stakeholders and members of BERC.
Attended the hearing, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) representative Md Mizanur Rahman said that the BPDB also needs to increase power tariff as 46 percent of its electricity generation depends on natural gas.
“AS per our projection electricity subsidy has already crossed around Tk 7414crore in the current fiscal year,” he added. The amount was Tk 5700 crore in nine month of the current year, thanks to the costly diesel fired power plants due to short supply of natural gas.
He requested the BERC to raise the power tariff immediately or just after raising the natural gas tariff.
Md Razi, director of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association requested the BERC not to increase the tariff at high level rather it should be at considerable level.
BTMA representatives said that the production cost of per kilogram of cotton will be 25-50 US cents if the BERC increases the tariff for captive power.
BTMA vice president Shahidul Alam said they are forced to produce 1400MW electricity from captive power due to lack of quality power supply. “We have lost our competitiveness to India and Vietnam,” he said.
“It’s illogical and irrational to allow 400 percent of tariff hike within four years,” said the BTMA Vice president with disappointment.
Prof M Shamsul Alam, energy adviser of the Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) pointed out that around 300mmcfd of natural gas has been pilferaged through illegal connections. But the government moves to import 500mmcfd LNG gas without stopping the pilferage, he added.
He also raised question on different irregularities on new connections and low pressure in households and industries. Energy expert Prof Badrul Imam said that the government is now allowing only four offshore blocks to explore oil and gas in the Bay. Despite the huge potential, they move to purchase costly LNG instead of low cost natural gas exploration in the Bay or onshore blocks.
PROF Nurul Islam of BUET requested Titas Gas to replace their 20 years old distribution pipeline which, he said, might help increase the gas pressure.
BD CNG Re-fuelling owners association representative requested to the BERC not to allow tariff hike for CNG otherwise it will increase transport cost.