With prolonged power outages being reported once again in many areas of Karachi, the K-Electric (KE) has blamed the outages on low gas pressure from the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), while the latter has dismissed the power utility's claims as "baseless".
In a statement posted on Twitter late night on Wednesday, KE said it was receiving low gas pressure from the gas utility, which had created a shortfall of up to 400MW.
"KE's furnace oil power plants are fully functional. [The] supply gap will only be filled after gas pressure is restored to KE's power plants," the statement said.
According to DawnNewsTV, several areas of the metropolis have been experiencing prolonged power outages, at times lasting more than 12 hours for the past several days. These areas include New Karachi, North Karachi, Surjani Town, Federal B Area, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Nazimabad, Gulistan-i-Jauhar and Gulbahar.
In the Twitter post, KE explained that while the required gas was available, a decrease in pressure had lead to reduced electricity production. "Reduced gas pressure has created a supply gap of up to 400MW. Consumers, across all segments including industrial zones, may face load-management.
"KE has requested to purchase RLNG [regasified liquefied natural gas] if made available at required gas pressure. SSGC has also been requested to put in all the required efforts to resolve the current situation," the power utility said.
Speaking to Geo News, a spokesperson for KE added that out of five power plants, four ran on gas. "Only one uses furnace oil," she said. She reiterated that the required volume was being supplied by SSGC but not at the required pressure due to which electricity production at two power plants was being affected.
Meanwhile, the SSGC refuted KE's claims as "baseless". In a video posted on Twitter titled "Revealing the facts!", company spokesperson Shahbaz Islam said that first the power utility had alleged they were not receiving the required volume of gas.
"When we proved to them that we were giving them the required volume, they have now spoken about gas pressure."
He added that currently the company was facing a shortage of 120 to 140mmcfd in gas supply. "[Despite this] we are supplying gas under our load management plan to domestic and commercial customers."
The spokesperson said that the company was providing the proper volume of gas with the required pressure at two of KE's power plants, including the one at Bin Qasim. "There may be two smaller plants at the tail-end, which might be facing gas pressure problems.
"Therefore, we think that KE's claims of low gas pressure causing prolonged power outages in the metropolis are baseless," he said.