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Drastic cut in CNG supply

Published Jan 04, 2013 01:58am


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—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Cold weather and priority accorded to domestic consumers have forced gas companies to completely stop supply to CNG stations in Punjab during the current month and restrict the same in Sindh to two days a week.

“The gas supply to CNG stations in Punjab is expected to remain suspended during the month of January because of low pressure and high domestic demand,” Amjid Latif, a senior official of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), told reporters here on Thursday after a briefing to parliamentarians.

He said gas supply in Punjab had also been suspended to the textile sector and other industries, including fertiliser units, but it was provided to only three power generation companies. “We have curtailed supply to these companies but cannot stop it altogether,” he said.

The representatives of the gas companies were briefing members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Textile on the availability of gas and its distribution among various sectors at the parliament house.

A senior official of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), Sohaib Warsi, repeated the same argument of gas shortages and priority for domestic consumers. He said gas loadshedding to CNG stations might be increased to five days a week in Sindh to ensure uninterrupted supply to domestic users, but the decision would not be announced and it would be done when required as per low gas pressure and high demand. The gas supply to industries in the province is confined only to one day a week.

The SSGC has already raised loadshedding to CNG stations in Sindh from two days to three days, while the SNGPL announced suspension of gas supply for six days a week. The SNGPL is not willing to provide gas even for one day.

The gas demand on the system of SNGPL and SSGC stood at 4.5 billion cubic feet (BCF) against a supply of 2.9 BCF. The shortfall is 1.6 BCF – 0.4 BCF on SSGCL system and 1.2 BCF on SNGPL.

The SNGPL official said that additional 750 mmcfd gas would be produced next year through various initiatives, including drilling of new gas wells. The new petroleum policy offered attractive incentives for investors. “Next winter will be better,” he predicted.

At the same time, he said, the gas reserves had also depleted because of many natural and structural problems. He said 250,000 new gas connections were given every year while gas reserves had been depleting constantly. He suggested stopping development work on gas, including new connections, until supply was improved.

The official said technical work on Iran-Pak gas pipeline had been completed.

The SSGC has allowed use of generators of up to 5 kv on gas. The same was not allowed by the SNGPL but most industrial units and domestic users availed the facility, a representative of the company said.

Akram Ansari, who heads the committee, said the government facilitated big textile industrialists under the umbrella of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma).

He asked the government to stop supply of gas to the textile mills for power generation. Instead, he said, gas should be diverted to sizing and processing units in Punjab which could not be run without gas.

He said car owners who used CNG were forced to shift to petrol and suggested that the same treatment should be given to Aptma which could produce electricity from petrol, instead of using cheaper gas for power generation.

Rizwan Ashraf, a representative of processing units of Faisalabad, said the government had not only stopped gas but also electricity supply to their units. He demanded 25 per cent gas quota for processing and sizing units in Faisalabad.

Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin told the meeting that the issue would be resolved in 10 to 15 days.

He said there was a shortfall of gas which would be met by curtailing supply to other sectors.


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Comments (6) Closed

Talha Zia Jan 04, 2013 08:03am
Read the Constitution. Province producing the gas has priority over the resource. Had Punjab been producing the resource, it were entitled to the same privilege under the constitution.
Amir Bangash Jan 04, 2013 08:12am
Lucky Cement Factory is not only run through own power generation but also helping local consumers by 1.5 MW electricity being surplus to their requirement. In Pakistan the major consumers of both gas and electricity are the industrialists who can easily make alternative arrangements but they want to pay less and earn more profit. There is no denial that Pakistan has to run industries to to over come economic problems but the Industrialists should make use of alternative resources which are cheaper than gas.
Nadir Ali Khan Jan 04, 2013 04:50am
This is a bunch of crap that there is gas for domestic consumers. I live in the Cantonment area of Lahore and the gas pressure coming to our house is so low that heaters don't work. To compound our problems there was no electricity yesterday for 2 hours (7-9 pm). So in addition to CNG stations being shut domestic users are also facing drastic cuts in gas pressure. Obvioulsy the SNGPL people have got their facts horribly wrong.
shuaib Jan 04, 2013 08:42am
Absolutely correct. In rainy days BIG brother will help!!!!
Immad Jan 04, 2013 03:18am
And we reached this enormous demand and supply gap because of the incompetence and compalcency of government to take timely steps. The briefing missed out this point.
Shahzad Jan 04, 2013 02:53am
Why the whole month in Punjab and just two days a week in Sind?