LAHORE: Gas supply to the general industry and its captive power (non-export), compressed natural gas (CNG) and cement sectors will remain suspended for three days in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other areas due to re-deployment of the Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) at the Karachi port.
“The respective state-owned organisations are not taking interest in resolving issues related to increasing the capacity and overcoming gas shortage over fear from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The frequent gas supply suspension either due to shortage, dry-docking of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal or the FSRU re-deployment is a result of the inefficiency of these organisations,” All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) group leader Ghayas Piracha told Dawn.
According to a notification issued by the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) on Friday, the re-gasification from Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited (LNG terminal-1) shall be disrupted from Sept 13 to 15 due to re-deployment of the FSRU exquisite after dry docking.
“In order to manage the gas load during the said period it is requested to advise all the regions to suspend gas/RLNG supply to CNG, cement, general industry and its captive power (non-export) sectors across the franchised area of SNGPL (including Punjab and KP),” reads the SNGPL notification.
However, the company allowed allocation of 10 per cent gas/ re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to the processing industry during the period as per past practice.
The APCNGA leader termed the authorities’ attitude towards resolving the issues surprising.
“It is a clear decision of the Economic Coordination Committee and the cabinet to allow the private sector, including the CNG, to import LNG on their own to meet their demands. But despite the passage of a year, the authorities concerned have not taken action in this regard,” Mr Piracha deplored.
According to an official source, the EETL had three months ago replaced its five-year-old FSRU with a new one with a capacity of 900 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMFCD). Under the agreement with the government, the company was bound to overhaul its unit worth 600MMCFD. Therefore, it decided to buy an FSRU of 900MMCFD instead of overhauling the smaller one. But, due to official bottlenecks, the contract with the government couldn’t be signed.
The source said that when the company faced delays from the government, it decided to overhaul the smaller one and send back the bigger one. “Due to this, the company faced a loss of millions of dollars and the upcoming winter may be tough for all consumers,” he warned.
Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2021