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July 16, 2020

Low gas pressure in SNGPL system causes power plants’ tripping

National

July 16, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Low pressure in gas supply to power sector has emerged as one of the reasons for power plants tripping causing power outages across the country.

Though there are many other issues which also include degradation of the distribution system of Discos for power outages in four provinces, the low pressure of RLNG is also one of the causes for loadshedding. Export, CNG and fertilisers sectors have also been facing low gas pressure for many days mainly because of retention of RLNG volumes by Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and reduction of local gas supply by 200mmcfd. Both factors resulted in a massive reduction in the pack of the Sui Northern system.

The gas pack in the pipeline should be maintained at 4.3bcfd (billion cubic feet per day) but it has declined to 3.5 bcfd. The local gas supplies from MOL and Nashpa fields had reduced by 200mmcfd.

However, the relevant officials at Petroleum Division while acknowledging the low pressure in the SNGPL system said the situation has now improved though and additional 100mmcfd from local resources has started coming into our system while pack in pipeline has declined to 3.5bcfd.

“Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) has ordered an additional cargo which will be reaching on August 2 to provide for additional gas for power. Also PLL cargo, which was coming in on 24th, will now be coming on 21st owing to which re-gasification has been increased now by 110mmcfd which is sufficient. The PSO is also bringing additional RLNG through its existing cargoes on July 20, July 25 and July 30 which will further add 30mmcfd to RLNG supplies.”

The disclosure about the low pressure in the Sui Northern System was made in the official correspondence between the gas company and Petroleum Division. The letter Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL) wrote to Petroleum Division on July 08 unfolded that the system pack was as of July 09, 2020 at 3.690 bcfd which was far below than the required limit of 4.3 bcf during summer. The system pack reduced at 4:30pm to 3.530 mmcfd causing low pressure across Sui Northern system.

The letter managed from the Petroleum Division also says that the main reason for such reduced pack and depletion is the continuous retention of RLNG by SSGS and due to reduced RLNG supplies and low system pack, Sui Northern is unable to meet the demand of its consumers especially power plants while low pressure complaints and tripping of power plants are being received which may have financial implications on Sui Northern. In the letter, Petroleum Division was requested to advise the SSGS to immediately stop retention of RLNG volumes while ensuring supplies per planned re-gasification from both LNG terminals so that smooth operation of the system is ensured and demand of the power sector may be met.

Earlier, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on June 26 wrote a letter to Secretary Petroleum Mian Asad Hayauddin informing about the low pressure in gas supply, saying that it would harm the production of textile products making the textile industry not able to meet export products on time.

The APTMA also mentioned in its letter that COVID-19 has adversely impacted textile exports, but industry is on the way to recovery and unless it is unable to meet the export order deadlines, fresh orders would be difficult to obtain.

According to Chairman of All Pakistan CNG Association Ghayas Paracha, CNG sector is facing low pressure and he brought this issue into notice of high ups in Petroleum Division.