September 23, 2023, 12:36 pm

Jannatul Islam

2023-06-06 07:09:37 BdST

Industries hit hard by energy crisis

Businesses are struggling to continue the operation of manufacturing units as an energy crisis and frequent power outages hit the industrial sector across the country.

From apparel to primary textile to other industries, the factories cut down the production by almost 50 percent due to frequent load shedding, said the business leaders.

They said that the situation led them to an uncertain future as they heard news of shutting down the second unit of the 1320 megawatt Payra thermal power plant from Monday.

Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) President Mohammad Ali Khokon said that the primary textile industry was facing serious setbacks due to the energy supply crisis.

“We have over 1700 textile mills; around 35 percent of factories mostly depend on electricity. The power situation is worsening day by day. We can feel the pinch from Dhaka, the situation is worse outside the capital,” Kokhon said on Sunday.

The business leader mentioned that textile factories in Gazipur, Narsingdi and Narayanganj were going through operational setback due to the situation.

He alleged, “The officials in the power ministry have no concern about the business sufferings. We have been sharing our concerns for a long time.”

BTMA president said, “The state minister never pays heed to our concern. As victims of power shortage, we never get consolation from the authorities.”

He mentioned that the textile mills were experiencing the rise in production costs because of nearly 10 to 12 hours of power outages daily.

In addition to coal, the country is also facing a shortage of other types of fuel required for electricity generation, which has resulted in hours-long load shedding throughout the country.

The apparel industry, which accounts for 87 percent of export earnings, is struggling to meet the demand of foreign customers as the factories cut production by 40 percent as the situation persists.

“The RMG industry is facing challenges because of downward trends in orders from the foreign buyers. The power crisis situation has now amplified the problem many-fold,” Shahidullah Azim, vice president at Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said.

He said, “We cannot run the factories properly. Many production lines stay idle because of power supply shortage.”

The apparel sector leader mentioned that the factory owners were counting losses as many types of machinery became defunct as the energy crisis hit the units.

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