JICA wants immediate resumption of gas supply to KAFCO12 April 2014
UNB, Dhaka :
Worried at the suspension of production at Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company Limited (KAFCO) for lack of gas, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has urged the government to resume the gas supply to the plant 'immediately' considering its huge importance.
JICA Vice President Masakazu Ichikawa has already written two letters with similar contents to Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu and Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury expressing worry at the gas suspension 'again'.
"I strongly request you to resume gas supply to the plant immediately," Ichikawa wrote in his letters, the copies of which obtained by UNB.
The JICA Vice President hoped that both the Industries Minister and Energy Adviser understand the importance of KAFCO's plant in terms of Bangladesh's national economy, and urged them to take 'necessary actions' for the resumption of gas supply to the KAFCO plant immediately.
The KAFCO plant in Chittagong remained closed since March 14 due to stoppage of gas supply following a government instruction, said an official at the Industries Ministry.
JICA is an independent governmental agency that coordinates official development assistance (ODA) for the government of Japan, while KAFCO is a Bangladesh-Japan cooperation project under Japan's ODA programme.
Terming KAFCO one of the most productive fertiliser plants in Bangladesh, the JICA Vice President said the government of Bangladesh had assured the shareholders of supplying necessary gas.
In the letters, dated April 4, Ichikawa also mentioned that the Japanese government has announced the support to Bangladesh for 35th Yen Loan Package with about US$ 1,200 million. "This package contains key sectors to be supported, such as development of coal-fired power generation (Ultra Super Critical), efficient allocation of natural gas and support to the agricultural development," the letter reads.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, during his recent meeting with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, said it is required to ensure a better business environment, including stable energy supply, to develop the relationship of private sectors between Japan and Bangladesh.
The JICA Vice President said he believes that more and more efficient use of energy is necessary to realise stable energy supply and development of the country. "From this point of view, the KACFO plant in Chittagong has to be utilised as much as possible by allocating natural gas as stipulated in the agreement, which will lead to the development of agricultural sectors in your economy," the letter says.