Home Featured Titas Gas’ misstep throws Munshiganj industries out of production

Titas Gas’ misstep throws Munshiganj industries out of production

by fstcap

While attempting to sever illegal household connections, the state-owned Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company has cut off legitimate gas supply to industries in Gazaria of Munshiganj for more than a month.

This misstep has forced more than a dozen factories, including manufacturers of 100% export-oriented ready-made garments, paper, cement, feed, electronics, and cables, to halt production, officials of these industries said.

This abrupt halt, which Titas said was in a bid to reduce systems loss in Gazaria, has placed 10,000 to 12,000 workers in a precarious situation regarding their salaries and bonuses ahead of Eid-ul-Adha, they said.

Companies are also facing significant challenges in meeting delivery deadlines for foreign buyers and repaying loan instalments to their lenders.

Despite a meeting with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) on 6 June, factory owners have yet to see their connections restored, resulting in the closure of more mills.

The latest casualty of Titas’ oversight is Pacific Denims, a 100% export-oriented company, which in a stock exchange disclosure yesterday announced an indefinite shutdown of production at its Gazaria factory.


Pacific Denims, which has an annual export turnover of around Tk150 crore and employs around 2,000 people, has been struggling to manage a gas shortage that has persisted for over a month.

The company, listed on the country’s capital market, is now struggling with the dual pressures of fulfilling orders from foreign buyers and meeting its bank loan repayments, Company Secretary Md Sorhab Ali told TBS.


On 28 April, without any prior notice, Titas stopped gas supply in the main line from Gazaria to Daudkandi Bridge.


Legitimate residential customers are also not receiving gas due to the abrupt stoppage.

According to Titas sources, the overall systems loss of Titas was 5.28% in the last fiscal year, but in the Gazaria region, it exceeded 40%.


Titas Meghnaghat Region Manager Engineer Md Muniruzzaman told The Business Standard, “The main gas line was closed to eliminate illegal connections, which outnumber valid connections.”

He explained, “There are around 2,500 legitimate customers in this region, while illegal connections exceed 15,000. We are currently prioritising the restoration of service to legitimate customers.”

When asked why it was taking so long to cut off illegal connections, he suggested talking to the superior authorities of the company.

Engineer Anisur Rahman, general manager of Titas Narayanganj Regional Marketing Division, could not be reached as he did not answer phone calls and did not respond to SMS messages.

Similarly, attempts to contact Titas Managing Director Engineer Md Harunur Rashid Mollah were unsuccessful as he did not pick up the phone.

Gas-dependent companies have completely halted production, while one or two firms have managed to maintain partial production using electricity as an alternative method.

The factories located in the Gazaria Industrial Area include: Super Star Group Limited, Men’s Fee Paper Mills, Modern Paper Mills, Pioneer Paper Mills, Hasan Rubber Limited, Pacific Denim, SSG Paper Mills, New Hope Feed Company, Qazi Farms, Anwar Cement Sheet, Super Star Cable, Poly Cable, and Meghna Garments.

Officials from at least six of these companies told TBS that their factories have been forced to close due to a lack of gas supply since 28 April. Gas is crucial for manufacturing denim, paper, tissue products, and electronics. However, there is uncertainty regarding when they will regain gas supply.

Salauddin Sajib, assistant general manager of New Hope Feed Company, told TBS, “The factory is currently operating partially using electricity due to the unavailability of gas. Despite having a daily production capacity of 400 tonnes of feed, we are now producing only 200 tonnes.”

He added, “Most of the workers are being paid without work. If we cannot operate the factory at full capacity soon, we will face a major crisis.”

Super Star Group Senior General Manager Engineer Sanjib Debnath said, “We have three tissue manufacturing units, all of which are closed. We incurred an instant loss of raw materials worth Tk2 crore due to the discontinuation of gas supply without notice. Now, we are facing a loss of Tk5-7 crore because we cannot operate the factories. These losses will further increase if gas connections are not restored soon.”

He continued, “We also have a fan manufacturing unit that is entirely dependent on gas. It has been closed since 28 April. Overall, we are in a very uneasy situation regarding the salaries and bonuses of our workers, and we do not know how to solve this problem.”

Modern Paper Mills, a company under Akij Ventures, produces cartons for packaging export-oriented products and employs over 300 workers. The factory has been closed since 28 April due to a lack of gas supply.

Al Amin, an official at the company, told TBS, “The factory remains closed, and we are unable to provide work to our employees. Titas is causing delays under the pretext of cracking down on illegal connections. They should disconnect illegal connections promptly and restore our supply immediately. Our machines are idle, and we are incurring losses worth crores of taka.”

“Unable to meet customers’ demands, we are losing business to competitors who can supply the products we can’t. This is causing significant damage to our company. Moreover, since we are unable to receive the necessary raw materials from foreign suppliers, our relationships with them are also at risk of deterioration. Additionally, the government is losing revenue due to the closure of factories,” he added.

Assurance of immediate gas restoration

In a meeting with Bida, representatives from industries were assured of restoring gas supply as soon as possible.

An official present at the meeting told TBS, “It was decided that the gas supply to legitimate customers would be restored within four to five days.”

“Action should be taken against those responsible for illegal connections through mobile court proceedings by executive magistrates,” he added.

The official told TBS on Sunday that despite Titas’ assurance, no visible initiatives have been taken yet. Consequently, there is no guarantee of gas connection restoration.

On 12 May, Titas wrote to the Munshiganj district administration requesting a schedule for conducting mobile courts to disconnect illegal gas connections. However, according to Titas sources, they have not yet received any response from the district administration regarding this matter.

source: https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/energy/titas-gas-misstep-throws-munshiganj-industries-out-production-873221

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