LAHORE: The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) drastically reduced supplies to the textile sector in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after terrorists blew up a 24-inch diameter gas pipeline in Balochistan’s Dera Bugti before dawn on Sunday.
The action was taken when the system suddenly lost 25 million cubic feet of gas.
A massive fire caused by the blast led to suspension of supply to the compressor of the gas purification plant. The shortage of gas affected Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and some other parts of the country.
“Look, the incident has caused a reduction of 25 million cubic feet of gas in our system. Although gas supply to domestic consumers has remained unaffected, the blast caused shortage for the textile sector. So we have reduced gas supplies to the sector from six to four hours,” SNGPL Managing Director Arif Hameed told Dawn.
Since the incident, he said, had taken place early in the morning, it was not possible for engineers to start repair work in the dark. They reached the site after daybreak and started work to replace or repair the damaged portion of the pipeline. The work would take further 24 hours because of the large-scale damage.
Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa badly affected; electricity loadshedding continues
“But despite all this, we will be able to complete the work by Monday night and bring the missing gas back to the system and restore it to the textile sector by Tuesday morning,” Mr Hameed said.
Meanwhile, a number of cities and towns across the country continued to face electricity loadshedding because of a shortfall of 2,900MW.
According to the National Transmission and Dispatch Company Limited (NTDCL), the total demand stood at 12,000MW and generation at 9,100MW at 3pm on Sunday —1,700MW contributed by hydel, 1,550MW by thermal and 5,850MW by independent power producers.
An NTDC official told Dawn that hydel generation had already declined because of a fall in Irsa indent due to closure of canals.
Urban centres are facing eight to 10 hours of loadshedding and rural areas between 12 and 14 hours.
The situation is worse in Balochistan where rural areas are facing more than 18 hours of outages.
Saleem Shahid adds from Quetta: Levies personnel said the explosives strapped with the 24-inch diameter gas pipeline in Landonala area of Dera Bugti had been detonated by a remote control. “A portion of the pipeline was damaged, causing suspension of supply to the gas purification plant,” they said, adding that law-enforcement personnel cordoned off the area after the incident.
Published in Dawn February 2nd , 2015