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September 24, 2020

No respite from loadshedding for residents of Karachi

National

September 24, 2020

KARACHI: The residents of Karachi are left to reckon with prolonged power outages as low gas pressure, according to the K-Electric (KE), is adversely affecting its power generation capability.

Areas such as Lyari, Lines Area, Malir, Surjani Town, Korangi and New Karachi are facing power outages of approximately 12 hours. Similarly, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Golimar, Defence View’s Phase 1, DHA, Clifton, PECHS, Saadi Town, Gulshan-e-Maymar, New Karachi, Quaidabad, North Karachi, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Gulberg, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Malir Jaffar Tayar, Saudabad, Khokrapar, Kharadar and Martin Quarters are also facing intermittent power shutdowns.

The SSGC has stressed that there is no gas load-shedding in its franchise areas. “Instead a low-pressure situation has been created due to diminishing gas supplies from different gas fields owned by E&P companies. Currently, the SSGC faces a shortfall of 150 mmcfd gas as a result of which the company's line pack system has been effected. The SSGC is therefore following the government's gas load management plan whereby the company is giving first preference in the supply of gas to the domestic sector.” It is pertinent to note here that the Sinjhoro and Zarghun Gas Fields are undergoing Annual Turn Around (ATA) right now and a number of other gas fields too are injecting reduced gas into SSGC's system. Hence there are complaints of low gas pressure from the customers.

The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has asked the KE and other stakeholders, which seek gas from the company, to opt for alternative power generation options as the shortfall could double in winter up to 300 million cubic feet.

According to a statement released by the KE, the power utility is facing an ongoing issue of low gas pressure from the SSGC. It said the pressure of the gas supplied to KE’s power generation plants was low due to which various gas-fired plants at Korangi and SITE were not able to operate at their optimum capacity despite remaining fully available. “Generation will be increased as soon as gas supply at the desired pressure is available. KE’s furnace-oil fired power plants are fully functional at this time.”

The power utility has requested the relevant authorities to purchase re-liquefied natural gas (RLNG) “if made available at required gas pressure to meet short term requirements and is awaiting confirmation on the same”.

Gas fields are continually subjected to low gas production. As a result, the upcoming winter will be tough for all the customers about which the SSGC has already informed KE and other stakeholders so that they can make alternate arrangements. The upcoming winter will see a shortfall of 150 to 300 mmcfd gas.