KARACHI: CNG stations across Sindh are likely to remain shut during the entire winter season as the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) on Friday made it clear that it will not be able to supply fuel due to a serious gas shortage in the province, suggesting the owners opt for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
An SSGC official said that the company was already facing shortages in supply from different fields despite the fact that the winter had not yet started and it would be “next to impossible” to maintain supply to CNG stations during four months of the season.
“We have not yet announced any suspension of the supply during winter,” SSGC spokesman Safdar Hussain said. “But it’s true that there is a load management plan under which CNG stations are on last priority. The company is more focused on supply to domestic users who every year face shortages. In the cold and chilly areas of Balochistan the situation turns more complicated. The gas supply in these areas is kind of a lifeline. So we have requested the CNG stations to operate their business on LNG and for that we will provide them every possible support.”
He referred to a short supply from different gas fields and said it could further deplete amid falling temperatures. He mentioned Quetta, Sujawal, Dadu, Zarghun, Qadirpur and others which were facing a short supply due to which the company designs a load management plan.
The SSGC plan came days after the federal government had hinted that Sindh might face higher gas shortage than Punjab in the coming winter and blamed the Sindh government for the possible closure of the industry and sufferings of the people, particularly in Karachi.
Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Petroleum Nadeem Babar had said that circular debt in the gas sector had increased to Rs250 billion.
They said the gas shortage in the SSGC network, which serves Sindh and Balochistan, was anticipated to touch 400 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), which could be contained at 250mmcfd if Sindh issued a right of way (ROW) for an additional gas pipeline.
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2020