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KCCI urges immediate actionon gas shortage in Karachi

By Our Correspondent
April 05, 2023

KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) called for an immediate government action over shortage of gas to Karachi industries on Tuesday, saying the industries could not function without gas and would be forced to halt production.

“It’s highly unfair to have such an attitude towards Karachi’s business community which, despite facing so many odds and challenges, contributes around 54 percent in terms of exports and more than 68 percent in terms of revenue,” KCCI president Muhammad Tariq Yousuf said.

Yousuf expressed deep concerns over enduring suspension of gas supply to industries in Karachi and appealed the government to issue strict directives for immediate restoration of gas supply with ample pressure.

“Karachi has been subjected to severe gas shortage and there was no help from any other source whereas as per SSGC’s statement, gas supply has gone down to 720 mmcfd from 810 mmcfd, which was originally 1000 mmcfd.”

In that scenario, he continued, the industries would have to go through severe gas load shedding which was totally “unacceptable and intolerable”. The industries couldn’t function without gas so somebody at the helm of the affairs had to take cognizance of the situation and see what was happening, he added.

KCCI chief was of the view that feasibility or viability of the company gets badly disturbed due to suspension of gas supply and the cost of production rises. “If a production unit, which usually runs for eight hours a day, is only able to run for two hours, then the cost of production becomes very high, which results in making the finished goods uncompetitive.”

Sustainability is the key word but under the prevailing conditions when no gas is available to industries, the production has gone down to 25 percent, according to KCCI.

Tariq Yousuf, while condemning Sui Southern Gas Company Limited for suspending gas supply to captive power plants (CPPs) of general industries, said that was a highly deplorable move as “it has intensified the problems for the industries that simply cannot depend on unreliable electricity being supplied by KE [K-Electric].”

CPPs provide reliable electricity to general industries which helps in keeping the high-tech machineries involved in the entire production line operational. Even minor electricity fluctuation for few micro seconds terribly disrupts the entire production line, damages the pricey machineries and causes heavy monetary losses during production, according to Yousuf.

KCCI chief reiterated that it was very crucial to immediately restore gas supplies to CPPs of general industries so that the hardships being faced in the ongoing stiffest environment could be minimised to some extent, he emphasised.