• Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019
  • Last Update : 03:05 am

BERC decides against raising gas prices for now

  • Published at 01:10 am October 17th, 2018

The regulatory body announced its decision at a press conference held at the commission office in the capital on Tuesday

The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has decided not to raise the price of gas in the present situation of the country.

Official sources in the BERC said after examining all the pros and cons of the gas price hike proposals placed by different government entities, the regulatory body has now decided not to raise the gas price especially just ahead of the general election to avoid any political repercussion.

The regulatory body announced its decision at a press conference held at the commission office in the capital on Tuesday, reports UNB.

They said, gas price is a very sensitive issue which always has multiple effects on different sectors. Any decision from the energy regulator on gas prices will have a big implication on the overall economy, which is not expected ahead of the election.

BERC Chairman Monowar Islam, while briefing reporters, said: “In the present situation we find no reason to raise the gas price.”

He said the distribution companies appealed for price hike calculating import of 1,000 mmcfd LNG. Currently, 300 mmcfd gas is being supplied from LNG.

The energy regulator has received supplementary duty waiver on LNG import, Monowar Islam said.

The government will pay a subsidy of Tk3,000 crore in the 2017-18 fiscal year,

to overcome the loss from LNG import, he added.

The commission would ask to provide Tk1,400 crore from short support fund.

It will consider price hike once the Petrobangla beings to supply 1,000 mmcfd LNG to national gas network.

Earlier, all the eight state-owned downstream entities in the energy sector – six distribution companies, one transmission and an LNG marketing company – had appealed to the BERC seeking an average 75% hike on the existing gas prices for different consumer groups, except the household and commercial ones.

The upward price revision was sought for industrial consumers, power plants, fertilizer factories, captive power plants, and CNG refuelling stations.

The distribution companies are Titas Gas Transmission & Distribution Company Limited (Tatas Gas T&D), Bakhrabad Gas Distribution Company Limited (BGDCL), Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System Limited, Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited, Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited and Sundarbans Gas Company Limited (SGCL).

While participating in the hearing, the gas entities argued that as per the government decision they had to submit their respective price hike proposals because of the high import cost of LNG as it will push up their cost substantially.

The Petrobangla started supplying the imported LNG to national gas network from August 18 through re-gasification by private sector-operated floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU).

Officials said currently 300 mmcfd gas is being supplied from LNG and it will go up to 500 mmcfd in a month or two and then 1,000 mmcfd gas will be flowed from next year as per a government plan.