Angry factory owners demand Pradhan action

Vol 18, PW 21 (18 Jun 15) Midstream & Downstream

Angry ceramics and glass factory owners in Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat are pouring scorn on his 'Make in India' policy when they are forced to close factories because they can't secure affordable gas.

Later this month (June) oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan can expect a group of tired and desperate south Gujarat-based glass and ceramics manufacturers to come knocking on his door demanding help. “We want to meet Pradhan and (new oil secretary) Kapil Dev Tripathi and (GAIL chairman) BC Tripathi,” a senior source at the South Gujarat Small Gas Consumers Association tells this report.

“Details and appointment dates are being fixed.” Twenty members of the association held an emergency meeting in Mumbai on June 11 to decide a course of action as their plight worsens - around 50 Gujarat-based factories are on the brink of shutting down.

Re-wind to August 2014 when the oil ministry began diverting cheap domestic gas at the earlier price of $4.20/mmbtu from 'non-priority' sectors to gas retailers for sale as CNG and piped gas to homes. With their gas allocation cut by an unnerving 58% these factories now receive just 350,000 cm/d against a promise of 600,000 cm/d.

“We don’t have any alternative but to depend on imported R-LNG,” adds an industry source. “This will mean the death of our industry.

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