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May 24, 2018

PHC directs SNGPL to ensure sufficient gas supply to KP industries


May 24, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday directed Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to provide natural gas to industries of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa without loadshedding, low pressure and also enhance the capacity of gas connections without further delay.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali also allowed the writ petition of Saif Textile Mills Limited, directing the SNGPL to enhance its gas connection capacity forthwith without low pressure or loadshedding.

During the course of hearing, the petitioner's lawyer Qazi Ghulam Dastageer submitted before the bench that refusal of SNGPL for enhancing gas connection capacity and loadshedding of gas is not only violation of the judgments of superior courts but also clear-cut violation of Article 158 of the Constitution.

He argued that under Article 158 of Constitution, SNGPL should first fulfil requirement and demand of the industries of the province and then could supply surplus gas to other provinces. The lawyer pointed out that the petitioner has not been able to implement its expansion plants due to the refusal of the SNGPL to enhance the petitioner's gas connection capacity.

He said that if the petitioner is to implement its expansion plants (which is contingent on SNGPL enhancing the petitioner gas connection capacity) it will result in investment of 60 million US dollars and resultantly an export revenue of 30 million US dollars estimated contribution to the national exchequer would be around Rs265 million.

The lawyer added that a majority of the KP industries are closed due to low pressure or gas loadshedding, which is also against the courts order and unconstitutional act on the part of the SNGPL.

He said the petitioner had installed heavy generators for electricity production for the mills and due to low pressure of gas, the generators are not running. As per the publicly available data issued by the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, the natural gas production in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has enhanced from 29,706 million cubic feet in the year 2007-08 to 126,234 million cubic feet in the year 2012-13.

Therefore, the lawyer informed the bench, SNGPL has no excuse for the gap between the supply and demand. About the production of gas by the provinces, he submitted that as per Pakistan Energy Yearbook for 2013 published by the HDIP, the total natural gas production from KP is 126,234 million cubic feet.

He said the source of this information is the directorate general, petroleum concessions, government of Pakistan. As per the government data, he said, the total natural gas consumption in KP is 65,179 million cubic feet.

Hence, there is a surplus of 61,055 million cubic feet, which is being consumed by other provinces and territories. It is an admitted position that natural gas produced in KP is more than its consumption, he added.

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