Price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has increased by Tk 4.75 per kg to Tk 102.9 from the previous price of Tk 98.17 for the month of May. Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) announced the new price, saying that a 12kg LPG cylinder’s price has increased by Tk 57. A retail consumer will get it now at Tk 1235 instead of Tk 1178 (including VAT). Read More: 12kg LPG cylinder to cost Tk 244 less Prices of other sizes of LPG cylinders – from 5.5kg to 45kg – will go up rationally, Md Nurul Amin, newly appointed chairman of BERC, said at a press briefing on Tuesday at the BERC office in Dhaka. The new prices will be effective from 6 pm today (May 2, 2023). BERC officials said the LPG price witnessed a rise in the local market due to a increase in the prices of Saudi CP (contract price). Bangladeshi LPG operators normally import their products from the Middle-East market on the basis of Saudi CP. As per the BERC decision, the price of “auto gas” (LPG used for motor vehicles) also increased to Tk 57.52 per litre (including VAT) from the previous Tk 54.90 per litre, up by Tk2.62 per litre. The price of LPG, marketed by state-owned LP Gas Company, will remain the same as it is locally produced with a market share of less than 5 percent. LPG witnessed the highest price at Tk 1,498 (per 12kg cylinder) in the local market in February this year following the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February last year.
European Union ministers on Monday finalized a long-awaited deal to implement a natural gas price cap they hope will help households and businesses better weather excessive price surges. EU member countries failed to overcome their differences at previous emergency meetings, but several EU leaders said last week that fixing a maximum ceiling to pay for gas was likely to be achieved this time. After talks in Brussels on Monday, the Czech presidency of the European Council, which represents member countries, said a deal had been reached. “We have succeeded in finding an important agreement that will shield citizens from skyrocketing energy prices," said Jozef Sikela, the Czech minister of Industry and Trade, adding that the mechanism will steer the 27-nation clear “from risks to security of supply and financial markets stability." Since it could not find a consensus on the divisive topic, the Czech presidency opted for a “qualified majority” as the voting rule to reach the political agreement. Under EU rules, a qualified majority requires that 55% of member countries, or 15 out of the 27, vote in favor of a proposal. Such a vote also requires that those nations represent at least 65% of the bloc’s population. Read more: EU leaders avoid deep rift on gas price cap at energy summit Under the agreement, the mechanism will kick off if prices exceed 180 euros ($190) per megawatt hour for three days and if it is 35 euros higher than a reference price for LNG on global markets for the same period. Once triggered, the mechanism will remain active for at least 20 days. Sikela said the 180 euros limit “is not a cap as such" and that prices can still go above this level if prices on the LNG markets are higher than 145 euros per megawatt hour. “In other words, this is not a fixed cap, but rather a dynamic one," he said. The measure will apply from Feb. 15 next year once formally approved by written procedure. The EU’s executive Commission last month proposed a “safety price ceiling” to kick in if natural gas exceeded 275 euros ($290) per megawatt hour for two weeks and if it is 58 euros higher than the price of liquefied natural gas on world markets. Such a system might not have averted hikes as high as in August — when prices hit nearly 350 euros per megawatt hour on Europe’s TTF benchmark but fell below 275 euros within days — and was met with derision by many countries including Spain, Belgium and Greece and Poland, pushing for a lower trigger. The 27 EU nations have stuck together through nine rounds of sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine and energy-saving measures to avoid shortages of the fuel used to generate electricity, heat homes and power factories. But they were unable until Monday to close a deal on setting the complicated price cap for natural gas. The cap was promised in October as a way to reduce energy bills that have soared during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We have proved that the EU is united and will not let anybody use energy as a weapon," Sikela added. Read more: Gas prices in Europe increased sixfold in June - EU Commissioner The gas cap issue is a divisive one because of fears that global suppliers would bypass Europe when other buyers offer more money. Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, said Budapest continues to oppose the introduction of a gas price cap because it will lead to price increase. He said that the EU should instead focus on building pipelines and LNG terminals while looking for new sources. The Council said an emergency brake has been devised to suspend the mechanism if “gas demand increases by 15% in a month or 10% in two months, LNG imports decrease significantly, or traded volume on the TTF drops significantly compared to the same period a year ago." The mechanism will also automatically deactivate once LNG prices drop back below 180 euros, Sikela said. Germany was initially reluctant but Economy Minister Robert Habeck was pleased that safeguards were introduced. “A compromise has now been reached that limits the mechanism to temporary price spikes for certain traded products. It is automatically suspended if, for example, there is a threat to security of supply. These safety lines are important and could be concretized today in the final negotiations," he said. The scare of exorbitant prices came in the heat of summer when a massive August spike stunned consumers and politicians, forcing the bloc to look for a cap to contain volatile prices that are fueling inflation. The compromise on the price cap unlocked plans for joint gas purchases and a solidarity mechanism to help the neediest countries as the energy measures were agreed on as a package. “I welcome today’s agreement in the Energy Council on joint purchasing, speeding up permitting for renewables and the market correction mechanism," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who heads the EU's executive arm. “These decisions will enable the EU to prepare for the next winter more effectively and fast-track the deployment of renewables." Member countries also agreed on a proposal to reduce methane emissions, one of the biggest causes of climate change, second only to carbon dioxide. The gas also causes serious health problems. “This will help us meet our commitments under the Global Methane Pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030," Sikela said.
The average gas price has been raised by 22.78 percent for the retail consumers in the country with effect back from June 1. Acting chairman of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Mohammad Abu Faruque announced the hike through a virtual briefing on Sunday. As per the announcement, the average gas price has been raised to Tk 11.91 per cubic metre from the existing Tk 9.70 per cubic metre (CM). Except the users of CNG (compressed natural gas) all other consumers will have to pay more for the natural gas. The price for small industries has, however. been decreased a little. Also read: No hike in gas price now: BERC As per the new rate, the household consumers having single burner will have to pay Tk Tk 990 (7.03 percent rise) instead of exiting Tk 925 a month while the double burner users will have to pay Tk 1080 (10.77 percent rise) instead of existing Tk 975 for double burner. The highest increase was made in the household consumers as they have to pay Tk 18 per Cubic metre (42.86 percent rise) instead of existing Tk 12.60 per cubic metre (CM). According to the increased price, CNG consumers will have to pay at the existing rate of Tk 43 per CM while captive plant operators will have to pay Tk 16 per CM (15.52 percent rise) instead of Tk 13.85. Commercial consumers like restaurants, hospitals, student hostels, hotels will have to pay Tk 28.64 (15.83 percent rise) instead of Tk 23 per CM. The large industries industry owners will have to pay Tk 11.98 (11.96 percent rise) instead of Tk 10.70 per CM while medium industry Tk 11.78 per CM (10.09 percent rise) and small and cottage industry Tk 10.78 (36.74 percent decrease) and the tea estates at Tk 11.93 per CM (11.50 percent rise). Public and private power plants will have to pay Tk 5.02 per CM instead of Tk 4.45 per CM (12.81 percent rise) while fertiliser factories Tk 16 (59.55 percent rise) from existing Tk 4.45 per CM. Energy sector experts believe that the increase in gas price for power plants means it will have a spillover effect and the power plant operators will soon raise demand for increase in power tariff. The BERC acting chairman said this new price was calculated considering the import of 645 million cubic feet (MMCFD) of LNG for the new fiscal year of 2021-22. He said the gas price was last increased in June 2019. The new price hike came in response to the demands of different gas utility companies. The BERC held a series of public hearings on March 21-24 this year.
The price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has decreased further by Tk 7.23 per kg. From now, the consumers will get a 12kg bottle of this cooking gas at a lower price by Tk 93 as the its price has been set at Tk 1242 instead of the last month’s (May, 2022) price of Tk 1335. The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) announced the price at a virtual briefing on Thursday. The new price will come into effect at 6pm today( Thursday). Also read: Per kg LPG price declines by Tk 8.68, 12 kg container to be sold at Tk 1335 The other quantity containers of LPG from 5 kg to 45 kg will rationally be sold at per the new rates, said BERC chairman Abdul Jalil. As per announcement, the price of auto gas for motor vehicles has been lowered to Tk 57.91 per litre from the earlier price of Tk Tk 62.21. However, the price of LPG, marketed by the state-owned LP Gas Company, will have no effect as it is locally produced with a market share of less than 5 percent. The LPG price had gone up to the highest Tk 1439 (12 kg) in the local market following the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February this year. The LPG price was lowest at Tk 1225 for 12 kg in January this year and it witnessed the continuous hike in price in February, March and April. Abdul Jalil said that globally the price of Saudi CP (contract price) has declined which gives the benefit to the local consumers as Bangladeshi private LPG operators mainly import the gas from the Middle East market based on Saudi CP. Also read: LPG gets costlier further by Tk 48 per 12-kg container The BERC, for the first time, fixed the retail-level LPG prices on April 12 after holding a public hearing to comply with a High Court order.
Household users in five districts of south-western region, including Jashore and Khulna, stare at a hike in prices of gas supplied by the Sundarbans Gas Company Limited (SGCL). The Technical Evaluation Committee of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has recommended new gas price for double burner oven at Tk 1,080 from existing Tk 975 and for single burner oven at Tk 990 from existing Tk 925 at household consumer level in the five districts where the SGCL is the distributor. The SGCL, however, sought to increase the gas price to Tk 2,100 (115% increase) for two double burner and Tk 2,000 (116% increase) for single burner oven from the existing price. Read: Proposed gas price hike: Petrobangla under fire at public hearing The SGCL officials placed the proposal during the second day of the public hearing of the BERC at BIAM auditorium in the city on Tuesday. BERC Chairman Abdul Jalil, members Maqbul-e-E Elahi Chowdhury, Bazlur Rahman and Mohammad Abu Farooq were present at the hearing. While making his introductory speech Abdul Jalil criticised the gas distribution companies for not taking the possible social impacts of the price escalation. He said the interest of the masses should be considered first before taking any decision. Read: Gas price hike proposal: 3-day public hearing begins Monday “The interest of the people is the first”, he said adding, the social impact of the price increase should have been included on the price increase applications. But the gas companies have overlooked it”, he observed. The BERC technical committee also made its recommendations to raise the gas price per cubic meter to Tk5.34 from the existing Tk 4.44 for power sector, Tk 15.50 from Tk 13.85 for captive power, Tk 5.34 from Tk4.44 for fertiliser factories, Tk12.65 from 10.70 for tea industries, Tk27.60 from Tk23 for commercial consumers, Tk 49.50 from Tk43 while Tk 18 from 12.60 for metered gas oven at household consumers.
State-run Petrobangla’s proposal to hike retail gas price faced stiff opposition from groups representing consumers, citizens, businesses and professionals at a public hearing that began at the city’s BIAM auditorium on Monday. Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is holding the hearing responding to the proposals of eight gas sector entities including Petrobangla to raise gas price by 117 per cent. The hearing will continue till Wednesday. The consumer rights groups said that any rise in gas price will be totally illogical and unfair at this moment when the people are struggling price hike of essentials resulting from Covid-19 pandemic shock. BERC chairman Abdul Jalil, who presided over the sessions, expressed his resentment on the proposals of different gas companies saying that their data on financial and technical issues are mismatching with each other’s. He said there should be a central data system from which accurate information could be found before taking decision on any issue in the gas sector. He also said the data presented by the Petrobangla could not satisfy the people. On the first day of the hearing, officials of Petrobangla and Gas Transmission Company Limited separately placed their proposals in two separate sessions in the morning and after lunch. Also read: Gas price hike proposal: 3-day public hearing begins Monday The Petrobangla officials claimed that the annual expenditure of the organization will increase to Tk 65,225.75 crore due to import of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and other cost escalations. As a result, on an average gas price needs to be increased to Tk 20 from the existing Tk 12.60 per cubic meter. A technical team of the BERC disagreed with the claim of Petrobangla and placed its report saying that state-run agency still has a unutilized fund of about Tk 2500 crore as surplus after meeting its expenses. Opposing the claim of the Petrobangla, Prof Shumsul Alam, advisor of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) challenged the authenticity of the data and statistics provided by its officials. He said he had sought different data from Petrobangla and other seven companies, but they did not provide it, which is a violation of the BERC Act. Also read: Further hike in gas price will come as a big blow to masses: speakers He raised a number of questions on the merit of Petrobangla's proposal and demanded for a cut in its unfair expenses and reducing the system loss instead of increasing the price of gas to adjust its cost. He also urged the BERC to form a high level commission composed from representatives of the consumer groups to ensure good governance in the gas sector. President of Bangladesh Sadharan Nagorik Samaj Mohiuddin termed the proposal of the Petrobangla and GTCL baseless and unfair and misleading. “If any rise in gas price comes on the basis of the Petrobangla proposal, it will be disastrous”, he said. Eminent energy expert Dr Badrul Imam said the current crisis in the gas sector is deeply rooted in the government’s failure to conduct exploration. “In last 20 years, there has been no major exploration works conducted in the gas sector”, he observed. He said it will be totally illogical to raise gas prices for import of only 3 per cent gas from the international spot market.
The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline shot up a whopping 79 cents over the past two weeks to a record-setting $4.43 per gallon (3.8 liters) as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is contributing to already-high prices at the pump. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday the new price exceeds by 32 cents the prior all-time high of $4.11 set in July 2008. But that’s still quite a ways from the inflation-adjusted record high of about $5.24 per gallon. Read:Yet another 4-decade inflation high is expected for February The price at the pump is $1.54 higher than it was a year ago. Lundberg said gas prices are likely to remain high in the short term as crude oil costs soar amid global supply concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prices at the pump were rising long before Russia invaded Ukraine as post-lockdown demand has pushed prices higher. Crude prices plummeted in early 2020 as economies around the world shut down because of COVID-19 — the price of futures even turned negative, meaning some sellers were paying buyers to take oil. Prices rebounded, however, as demand recovered faster than producers pulled oil out of the ground and inventories dried up. Then, the price increase accelerated after war began. Energy prices are also contributing to the worst inflation that Americans have seen in 40 years, far outpacing higher wages. Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas is in the San Francisco Bay Area, at $5.79 per gallon. The lowest average is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at $3.80 per gallon. Read:Asia stocks mixed after Wall St falls, US bans Russian oil According to the survey, the average price of diesel also spiked, up $1.18 over two weeks, to $5.20 a gallon. Diesel costs $2.11 more than it did one year ago.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) will hold public hearing on the proposed gas tariff hike on March 21-24. The commission has taken the decision to hold the public hearing if everything remains as usual, said Md Abdul Jalil, chairman of the BERC on Monday. “We’ve already sent the notice in this regard to the newspapers to publish it as advertisement,” he told UNB. State-owned 6 gas distribution companies and one transmission company submitted their final proposals to the energy regulator on January 25 seeking a 117 percent hike in gas price at retail level. Besides, their principal gas supplier Petrobangla also placed its proposal to raise the price of the natural gas at bulk level. Also read: Decision on gas price hike proposals after detailed analysis: BERC chairman As per the gas distributors’ proposals, the monthly gas price for a double burner will increase to Tk 2100 from existing Tk 975, while price for single burner will rise to Tk 2000 from current Tk 925. Petrobangla is the bulk supplier to the six downstream distribution companies. They are Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (Titas Gas), Bakhrabad Gas Distribution Company Limited (BGDCL), Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System Ltd (JGTDSL), Paschimanchal Gas company Limited(PGCL), Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited (KGDCL) and Sundarban Gas Company Limited (SGCL) while the only transmission company is Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL). Following the submission of the proposals by the companies, a 5-member watchdog body scrutinized and set the schedule for the public hearing. As per the BERC Act, the commission will invite interested representatives from stakeholders in the gas sector to take part in the public hearing. After the conclusion of the hearing, the watchdog body will announce its decision within 90 days. Official sources said Petrobangla and its 7 subsidiary bodies submitted the proposals to raise gas price at the bulk and retail levels following the directive of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. For the last several months, the Energy Division has been under pressure from the Finance Ministry to collect more revenues by raising gas prices to offset subsidies in the energy sector. A member of the BERC said Petrobangla currently imports only 5 per cent of its daily consumption from a highly volatile international spot market where it has to buy gas at higher price. It imports its 20 per cent gas from two international companies under long-term contracts where price is static. “If the local production is raised by 5 per cent, then the country will not need to import the 5 per cent gas from volatile markets at a higher price and finally it would not have to raise the gas price at retail level,” he added. Also read: Govt working to keep gas price within tolerable limit: Nasrul Normally, the Petrobangla supplies 2,700-3,000, million cubic feet (mmcfd) gas per day of which 2,300 mmcfd is produced locally while 600 mmcfd is imported as liquefied natural gas LNG. Of this imported 600 mmcfd, 150 mmcfd is imported from spot market at a variable price between $10 and $30 per unit. Meanwhile, side by side the state-owned power distribution companies also submitted proposals to the BERC to raise the power tariff as well. About the proposals, the BERC chairman informed that the commission has received proposals from state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and other power distribution companies to raise power tariff as well. “But we’re yet to complete the scrutinizing job on the proposals”, he said. So, no decision has been made as yet on holding of any public hearing on power tariff hike proposals, he said.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) chairman Abdul Jalil has said that the watchdog body will make a detailed analysis before taking any decision on the proposals submitted by different gas distribution companies to raise the gas tariff. He made the remarks while taking part in a virtual dialogue on “Gas-LNG Debate in Energy Supply: Costs and Consequences of LNG Import for the Power Sector”, organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on Sunday. The energy regulating body chief’s remarks came against the backdrop of the state-owned gas distributors’ proposals submitted to the BERC on January 25 to make a 117 per cent hike in gas price at retail level. Also read: Govt working to keep gas price within tolerable limit: Nasrul If the BERC accepts the distributors’ proposals the monthly gas price for a double burner will increase to Tk 2100 from existing Tk 975, while price for single burner will rise to Tk 2000 from current Tk 925. The function, chaired by CPD Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun, was also addressed by eminent energy expert Dr M Tamim, Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain, and Bangladesh Independent Power Producers Association president Imran Karim while Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director and Abdullah Fahad, Senior Research Associate of the CPD made a keynote presentation at the dialogue. Abdul Jalil urged the government to increase subsidy and reduce the tax on LNG import so that gas prices could be kept lower. He recommended increasing the onshore and offshore gas exploration as a long term solution to the current gas crisis. The other speakers said that the ongoing gas crisis needs to be addressed through short, medium and long term measures. Also read: Textile millers oppose plan for gas price hike Impact of liquefied natural gas (LNG) should not be the only measure, rather enhancing efficiency in gas use in power plants, reducing captive power generation, and promoting clean-energy based power generation are important to address the crisis, they observed. They said that household consumers, industry, transport and power sectors have been facing challenges due to shortage of gas supply. The speakers said the government should put emphasis on clean energy based power generation, gradually increase the share of renewable energy in the fuel-mix, and improve energy efficiency. Dr M Tamim, Former Special Assistant to the Chief Advisor and Professor, Department of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Engineering at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), put emphasis on exploration of gas. He said the state-owned exploration company Bapex or foreign companies should be appointed for gas exploration on a competitive basis, “he added. Dr Badrul Imam, Honorary Professor, Department of Geology, University of Dhaka, said the current gas price crisis is a result of the negligence towards the exploration of our own gas sources. He recommended increasing the exploration pace both in onshore and offshore gas fields. Razeeb Haider, Managing Director, Outpace Spinning Mills and Director, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) said that increase in the price of gas along with cost of production will be a major constraint for the textile sector to turn around from the pandemic situation. Mr Mohammad Hossain, Director General of Power Cell, emphasised on the need for both gas and LNG to provide electricity. Nuclear energy is an option as a cheaper means of electricity production, he suggested.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said the government is working to keep the gas price within the tolerable level of people. “We’re watchful so that any rise in gas price doesn’t create public discontent,” he said while talking to reporters during a visit to Titas Gas Company’s Tikatoli Zonal office in the city on Sunday. He said it is the responsibility of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to assess the proposals of gas distribution companies and make its order on the issue. Also read: Defying rejection, Petrobangla, 7 other distributors again push for gas price hike The remarks came against the backdrop of the recent move by the state-owned company to raise gas prices. They separately submitted their respective proposals to the BERC. If the BERC accepts the distributors’ proposals, the monthly gas price for a double-burner will rise to Tk 2,100 from the existing Tk 975, while the price for a single-burner to Tk 2,000 from the current Tk 925. Nasrul Hamid said the government has initiated measures to increase the economic use of gas as well as create public awareness about it. He said gas exploration activities are going on as the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation incurs a loss of Tk 10 crore a day as it has to import petroleum at a much higher price from the international market. Also read: Consumers brace for a big hike in gas price amid dwindling supply The state minister expressed dissatisfaction over mismanagement of files at the office and asked the officials to introduce an automation system as soon as possible.