KARACHI: The country’s exports are facing a daily loss of $44 million due to the suspension of gas supply to export-oriented units by the Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGCL) since June 11, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) said on Friday.
In a letter addressed to Federal Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar, FPCCI President Mian Nasser Hyatt Magoo said the industry was faced with cancellation of orders and delay in shipments due to the suspension of gas supply.
“Exporters are in a fix owing to the high freight charges of $8,400 per 4 feet container for shipment to the US while the same shipment by air costs $93,000 which is equal to the total cost of said consignment of 40 feet container,” he said.
In this situation, exporters are facing colossal financial losses which may lead to the closure of industries and huge workers’ layoff, the FPCCI chief warned.
“The supply of gas to industries has been switched off in the name of annual turnaround (ATA) of Kunnar Passaki Field. Previously, such gas disruption was attributed to the ATA of the Gambat Gas Field.
The ATA and maintenance of gas fields should have been communicated to the industries six months back,” he said.
The FPCCI chief highlighted that Karachi contributed around 60 per cent to the country’s exports. “Under the current situation if 10pc exports from Karachi are affected, then this would cause a 5pc drop in national exports,” he said.
The SSGCL should have avoided ATA of gas fields in working days and this should have been initiated during Eid holidays when there is no industrial usage of gas, he added.
The FPCCI president questioned why such gas closures repeatedly happened in Karachi every three to four months.
Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2021