KARACHI: The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) announced on Tuesday that it was stopping supply of gas to the compressed natural gas (CNG) sector and captive power plants.

The SSGC said it was not getting the required pressure and amount of gas for distribution due to a technical fault being experienced at some gas fields.

Gas shortage: consumers start feeling ‘heat’ of winter

To add to this, a sharp drop in temperature in Quetta has increased gas demand in that city, which is also affecting the supply of natural gas there.

CNG Dealers Association, Pakistan Petroleum Association to protest outside SSGC building today

To ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to its domestic and commercial consumers, the SSGC is discontinuing supply to the CNG sector and captive power plants till further notice.

It was stressed by the SSGC that the industry would not be affected by this decision and would continue to receive normal supply of gas.

In reaction to the move, chairman of the CNG Dealers Association and Pakistan Petroleum Association Abdul Sami Khan has called for a protest demonstration of CNG dealers outside the SSGC building on Wednesday (today) at 9am.

Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh said the federal government’s decision to stop gas supply to the captive power plants in the province was bound to cause unemployment and stir an industrial crisis.

Mr Shaikh said at an emergency press conference in his office that the federal government’s attitude towards Sindh, which contributed 70 per cent to the country’s total gas production, was tantamount to unleashing oppression on the people of the province.

The minister said that gas loadshedding was a serious matter on which the prime minister had taken another U-turn. Only two days ago, the premier had promised Karachi-based industrialists of an end to the loadshedding but the very next moment the supply to the captive power plants was stopped, creating a big crisis which would affect a number of factories, he added.

He said he had also recorded his protest by drawing attention of the federal minister for petroleum to the first right of Sindh on the gas it produced and urged the prime minister to take notice of the decision to stop supply to the captive power plants and order its restoration.

In reply to a question, Mr Shaikh said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government was afraid of the Pakistan Peoples Party and victimising its leaders. “Our leaders have been given notices by the National Accountability Bureau once again… but such tactics cannot overawe the PPP. We are not afraid of them,” he added.

Meanwhile, the supply of re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to industrial units in Punjab has been suspended for 24 hours after the Engro-owned Elengi LNG terminal started observing a shutdown schedule due to routine maintenance.

“Keeping in view the considerable reduction in RLNG supplies due to one-day outage of Engro Terminal for undertaking maintenance activities, RLNG supplies to the Punjab industry and CNG sectors shall remain suspended for next 24 hours starting from 0000hrs on December 12 and ending at December 13 (12am),” said a press release issued on Tuesday.

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2018