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Gas Distribution Co pressing for increase of gas price by 300 pc

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Anisul Islam Noor :
Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Ltd (KGDCL), responsible for distribution of gas in Chattogram region, on Tuesday pressed for increase of gas price hike by 300 percent on its existing price i.e from Tk 0.2489 to Tk 1.05 for per cubic metre of gas.
In the hearing, the technical committee of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) suggested to increase Tk 0.1988 per cubic metre.
BERC Chairman Monowar Islam, members Abdul Aziz Khan, Mizanur Rahman, Rahman Murshed and Mahmudul Hoque Bhuian organised the hearing on behalf of the regulator. Representatives from Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL) and other civil rights group were present.   
The energy regulator started series of public hearings from June 11 over the proposals from the state-run gas companies for nearly doubling the gas tariff for consumers, except households.
The seven-day process started from June 11 with hearing on the proposal of state run Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL) to raise wheeling charge for gas transmission.
It will be concluded on June 21 with hearing on the proposal of Sundarbon Gas Company Ltd (SGCL) for raising tariff for consumers.
Hearing on the proposal of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) was held on June 13 and on the proposal of Bakhrabad Gas Distribution Company Ltd (BGDCL) on June 14.
Besides, hearing on the proposal of Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (JGTDCL) took place on June 18 and on the bid of Paschimanchal Gas Company Ltd (PGCL) to be held on June 20.
The hearings were held from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm everyday in the auditorium of state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) at Karwan Bazar in the capital.
The gas companies submitted the tariff hike proposals to BERC within one year of the previous hikes - to cope with the increased energy costs following the import of expensive LNG (liquefied natural gas).
Bangladesh received its first LNG cargo on April 24, as the US-based Excelerate Energy Bangladesh Ltd brought in its floating, storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) carrying 1,36,009 cubic metres of lean LNG from Qatar's RasGas.
BERC raised the natural gas tariff by 22.70 per cent for all types of consumers in phases with effect from March 01, 2017 and June 01, 2017 respectively.
Fresh hikes in natural gas tariff might also come in phases with the increase in LNG import volume in the country.
The gas distribution companies in their unified proposals sought increase in the average natural gas tariff to Tk 12.95 per cubic metre (cm) from the existing Tk 7.39 per cm.
They wanted to raise tariff for the gas-fired power plants to Tk 10 per cm from the existing Tk 3.16, and for the fertiliser factories to Tk 12.80 per cm from the existing Tk 2.17.
Besides, the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the filling stations has been proposed to be hiked to Tk 48 per cm from the existing Tk 40.
For the industrial sector, natural gas tariff is sought by the distributors as Tk 15 per cm in place of the existing Tk 7.76.
For the gas-fired captive power plants, the proposed tariff hike is Tk 16 per cm from the existing Tk 9.62. Gas tariff for the tea gardens has been proposed to Tk 12.80 per cm from the existing Tk 7.42.

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