LAHORE: Over 10,000 out of the total 23,000 commercial consumers of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) have signed contracts for switching over to Regasfied Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) from the (indigenous) gas tariff for the ongoing winter. The efforts are also under way to get the remaining 13,000 shifted to RLNG by the SNGPL, Dawn has learnt.
“We cannot provide the system gas to the commercial consumers on the rates fixed for the indigenous gas keeping in view a massive increase in RLNG share in our total supplies in winter. As the RLNG costs us much higher than the system/local gas, we are unable to provide it to all of our commercial consumers on this tariff,” a senior SNGPL official said while talking to Dawn on Tuesday.
He said keeping in view the shortage of gas due to depleting local gas reserves, the company, for the first time, decided to shift all commercial consumers to RLNG. In this regard, a campaign is under way through which 10,000 out of the total 23,000 consumers have so far signed contracts.
Official says supply to remaining 13,000 to be severed if they avoid signing of contract
“However, if the remaining 13,000 avoid signing the contract, we would have no option but to disconnect their supply,” the official warned.
It merits mentioning that the company had [last month] warned the commercial consumers of action (gas supply disconnection) if they continued ignoring the instructions to switch over to the RLNG. It also told the consumers that the time to procure expensive RLNG and provide it to the commercial consumers at cheaper rates (at the price of indigenous or system gas) is over as it cannot bear further financial loss.
A couple of months ago, the company had advised its entire commercial consumers using indigenous gas to sign the contracts and switch over to RLNG by Oct 31. By the end of October, around 3,000 of the 23,000 consumers opted for the RLNG. Later, 3,000 more consumers entered into agreements after a team of the SNGPL visited the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Oct 31 and requested the business community to help it achieve the objective. The LCCI also sought extension to the deadline till Nov 10 to convince the consumers for the purpose.
“Had the winter turned severe [which is not yet these days], the company would have disconnected gas supplies to all those avoiding the contracts,” the official said.
Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2022