NAMRUP, July 17 � A group of representatives from Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd (APL) here, led by Dibrugarh MP Rameswar Teli, met Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pasad at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi on July 11 and submitted a memorandum urging the Central Government to provide natural gas to the petrochemicals industry at a special concessional price for the longevity and sustainability of this State Government venture that has been a premier petrochemicals industry in the entire northeastern region.
The representation comprised APL MD Ratul Bordoloi, Technical Advisor N Bora, DGM (Project) A Barman and Assam Petrochemicals Workers Union (APWU) president Nityananda Hazarika, APWU general secretary Manoj Ezmal Bora, executive member Phukan Rajkonwar and Dibrugarh BJP�s vice president Ranjit Bora, among others.
The representation held a discussion with the Union minister highlighting the plight of Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd owing to the non-availability of natural gas at the concessional price, applicable to the general customers of the Northeast.
The Namrup-based Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd is a State Government PSU that produces methanol and formaldehyde by using natural gas as feed stock. In September 18, 1997, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MOPNG) fixed the natural gas price for the Northeast customers at Rs 1,700/MCM with an additional regional concession of Rs 300/MCM, which was also enjoyed by Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd up to March 31, 2003 and onwards.
However, in June 2005, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas reviewed the natural gas price and fixed it at Rs 3,200/MCM for the APM category, pegging at 60 per cent of the revised price for the general customers of the Northeast. But Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd has to pay the full price of Rs 3,200/MCM for not being categorised under the APM gas category.
The price of natural gas shot up from Rs 3,200/MCM to Rs 9,353/MCM in 2010, a jump of about 192 per cent. Although the consumer price of natural gas for the Northeast is fixed at 60 per cent of the above price, Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd has been deprived of getting the same. It has been learnt that the natural gas price would soon rise which would adversely affect the profitability and sustainability of Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd to a great extent. If the company doesn�t receive natural gas at concessional price, Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd is destined for doom.
Furthermore, Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd has already spruced up to embark upon the scheme for setting up new greenfield 500 TPD methanol and 200 TPD acetic acid plants along with a 05 MW captive power plant in the adjacent location of the existing factory based on natural gas as feed stock for which the Oil India Ltd has already allocated additional 0.5 MMSC MD natural gas. The profitability of the new plants would also rest upon the supply of natural gas at a concessional price for Assam Petro-chemicals Ltd.