ISLAMABAD: The World Bank, government and natural gas utilities have agreed that all gas meters should be changed in order to reduce system losses as the existing meters have slowed down due to ageing, according to a government official.
Replacing the existing meters with new and better ones is part of the World Bank-funded Rs26 billion natural gas efficiency project, for which the bank is providing a $200 million loan to the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL).
The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) is currently discussing a similar project with the bank and the utility is also expected to get a $200 million loan.
The system losses, also known as unaccounted for gas (UFG), currently stand at about 10 per cent and account for a revenue loss of about Rs50 billion sustained by the utilities.
Pakistan’s total gas production stands at about 4.2 billion cubic feet per day. With the 420mmcfd of natural gas going to waste, the power sector could generate about 2000MW of electricity at about Rs3 per unit as opposed to Rs15 per unit when furnace oil is used to produce electricity.
In a fresh letter sent to the water and power secretary and managing director of the SSGC, the World Bank’s country director in Islamabad, Rachid Benmessaoud, has advised the government for a “complete segmentation of the distribution network into smaller, manageable units” for reduction of system losses as quickly as possible.
The World Bank and the SSGC have already agreed to speed up the process of changing the meters.
Realising the procurement lead times and the availability of high UFG segments to work on, bidding documents with technical specifications for the first tranche of goods and services will be sent to the World Bank for review and issuance of No Objection Certificate by the end of current month.
A procurement plan for first tranche of gas meters is currently under review of the World Bank. The SSGC is required to submit a complete procurement plan by October. The SSGC has been asked to lump together items of similar nature or have lots in a package so that the number of procurement packages and the number of biddings was reduced.
The World Bank and the SSGC are also in contact for improved meter design with the use of non-removable screws for the meter body and for the indexing assembly which records gas flows.