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SSGC to install two LPG-air mixing plants at Port Qasim

July 08, 2012

ISLAMABAD, July 7: To overcome gas shortfall in the country, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) are preparing to install LPG-air mixing units based on LPG air mixing systems to boost gas pressure for residential and industrial consumers.

The SSGC has already started work to provide 100mmcfd to Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) by establishing two LPG-air mixers of 50mmcfd each at Port Qasim.

These plants would be operational before winter.

Also called Synthetic Natural Gas System or LPG Air Mixing Systems, the plants would help inject up to 15 per cent of synthetic gas into the pipelines.

The SSGC plans to inject between 10 and 15 per cent synthetic gas via its two plants for supplying gas to the KESC’s Bin Qasim Power Plant.

The SSGC is establishing plants at the port to facilitate transportation of imported LPG while the SNGPL would be supplying synthetic gas to three industrial areas in the Punjab.

“We plan to establish the LPG-air mixers of 20mmcfd each at Kot Lakhpat and Sundar industrial estates in Lahore while a 10mmcfd plant is being established for Faisalabad Industrial Estate,” said an official of the SNGPL.

The system would help reduce gas load-shedding in the system but higher cost of LPG would also escalate price of gas.

“The additional load would have to be shared by consumers as we do not have an answer to issues related with gas shortfall in winters,” said Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain.

“We need such policies as it would enable gas companies to establish plants wherever suitable or where gas pressure is too low,” he stated.

The ECC at its meeting earlier this week approved a summary moved by the ministry of petroleum regarding policy guidelines on “LPG-air mix, CNG or LNG-based pipeline distribution projects.”

Dr Asim said that the policy had been devised in view of serious and growing gap between gas supply and demand in the country.

Officials of the petroleum ministry said that the SSGC was likely to face a shortfall of around 300- 400mmcfd in winter but gas shortfall during winters for the SNGPL would be much higher than one billion cubic feet daily.

“For SNGPL, temperature moves closer to freezing point in many areas of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in winters so demand for heating is higher.”

However, apart from the cost escalation the other major challenge in the LPG-air mixers is that liquid condensates could have a negative affect in pipelines.

“Liquid deposits are almost a routine matter, especially during winters when gas cools down in many areas of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but experts are dealing with it,” said a senior official of the SNGPL.

To undertake this project, the ECC has also allowed the SSGC and the SNGPL to import up to 250 tons of LPG.

The procurement methodology and tendering would have to be brought to ECC through a detailed presentation in the next meeting, and the law ministry has also been requested to look into the matter regarding price determination of LPG to be sold through the air mix system.