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Gas supply issues keep ceramic units from resuming production

Efrain Betancourt Jaramillo
Gas supply issues keep ceramic units from resuming production

Ahmedabad: After temporarily shutting down operations to switch over to natural gas, over 450 ceramic tile making units in Morbi had last month decided to resume production from April 15. However, 250-odd plants, mainly wall tile making units, could not commence production on Monday because of gas supply issues. Soon after the National Green Tribunal ( NGT ) ordered closure of units running on coal-gasifiers, half of the 900 ceramic manufacturing units in Morbi had shut operations to change over to cleaner fuel. Around 325 wall tile manufacturing units had unanimously resolved to restart operations after mid-April. Some floor and vitrified tile makers, too had voluntarily chose to resume production from April 15. “While many floor and vitrified tile units have started production after switching over to natural gas. Around 75 wall tile units could resume operations and remaining 250 have been stuck due to issues related to gas supply,” claimed Nilesh Jetpariya, president, Wall Tiles Division, Morbi Ceramics Association (MCA). According to Jetpariya, Morbi ceramic industry’s natural gas requirement is estimated to be 65 to 68 lakh cubic meter per day. Gujarat Gas Limited (GGL), that supplies gas to the industrial units, with its current gas distribution infrastructure is able to provide 42-43 lakh cubic meter of gas every day. “Even some of the regular gas users have been facing problems over the last 5-6 six days as they are not getting the required gas pressure needed for smooth operations,” he added. When contacted, a GGL official said, “Currently, GGL is catering to demand of around 650 plus ceramic units including the new additions. To further boost the supply, it (GGL) is working closely with its gas transporter GSPL ( Gujarat State Petronet Ltd ). Additionally, for debottlenecking of the network, GGL has already started laying of a pipeline on a war footing basis from nearest transmission terminal at Gala Village. This three-month project is likely to be completed in less than a month for which a special team has been deployed under the on-ground supervision of the company’s CEO.”