LAHORE: The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) on Thursday halted gas supply to general industry — fertiliser, manufacturing and compressed natural gas sectors — to meet energy needs of around six million domestic consumers in Punjab.
“In the wake of increasing gas consumption of domestic sector due to the current cold wave in the country, SNGPL has decided to temporarily discontinue gas supply to general industry and CNG sector.
“However, gas supply to zero-rated industry (textile, sports, surgical goods, carpets and leather) will not be affected by the decision,” said a spokesman for the SNGPL. The utility is responsible for meeting the gas needs of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“The decision has been taken on temporary basis owing to the current situation. Supply to general industries and CNG sector will be restored as soon as the situation gets normal,” the release added.
The closure does not affect five zero-rated sectors in the province
The SNGPL has been facing problems due to a huge increase in demand by domestic consumers in Punjab. At present, a huge number of consumers, especially those living in areas situated at the tail-end of pipelines, are witnessing extremely low pressure or no gas on a daily basis.
The company’s regional offices are reportedly implementing a load management/loadshedding plan on a daily basis due to gas shortfall that is widening gradually. The supply situation worsened on Wednesday night, forcing the company to take a decision to meet demand of domestic consumers.
“If we compare the first 19 days of December this year with the same period last year, we can find a visible increase in the demand of domestic consumers. Last year, it was 1,387 million cubic feet per day (mmcdf) on an average but now it has reached 1,535 mmcfd. So the increase in demand has almost reached to 150 mmcfd on a daily basis,” an official source in the company told Dawn.
He said last year the company had inducted 155 mmcfd of regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) into the system to meet demand of the domestic sector. This year LNG induction into the system has reached to 295mmcfd, almost double to the last year.
Meanwhile, domestic consumers complain of extremely low gas pressure or no gas in many areas of Lahore. In some areas, consumers are forced to use compressors to extract gas from the pipelines. However, SNGPL teams have started disconnecting supply to consumers using compressors.
Published in Dawn, December 20th, 2019