Pradhan 'too busy' to see Gujarat factory owners

Vol 18, PW 3 (25 Sep 14) Midstream & Downstream

Anxious Gujarat-based glass and ceramics manufacturers have won a last-minute reprieve to threats of a 58% cut in their gas supplies.

This follows a face-to-face meeting with GAIL chairman BC Tripathi in Delhi on September 13 – three days before GAIL planned to slash their domestic gas supplies from 600,000 cm/d to 348,000 cm/d following an oil ministry directive to prioritise domestic gas allocation away from industry to city gas retailers. “As of now GAIL has deferred any decision to cut our gas supplies,” confirms a source from the South Gujarat Small Gas Consumers Association, representing glass and ceramic factories Pragati Glass, Piramal Glass, Haldyn Glass, Gujarat Borosil, Schott Glass, Belgium Ceramics and others.

“But for how long we don’t know.” Worried factory owners are incensed at a GAIL directive to replace their domestic gas supplies with expensive R-LNG.

“How can you compare $4.20/mmbtu gas with R-LNG which GAIL wants to sell at $17/mmbtu?” asks Gujarat Borosil, a leading glass manufacturer. “R-LNG is not an option.

Gas is a key component in glass production costs. If I am forced to use R-LNG it would be better to close shop.

” Factory owners in Gujarat have been desperately trying to meet oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan for the past month to press their case, but to no avail.