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January 4, 2021

Gas crisis deepens: RLNG supply to power sector slashed considerably

National

January 4, 2021

ISLAMABAD: As the gas crisis is intensifying, the government has further slashed the supply to the power sector to just 150-155mmcfd against the actual demand of 240mmcfd, while the RLNG supply to CNG, fertilizers, steel industry and captive power plants meant for non-export industry has already been stopped.

Reports said another LNG cargo, which was due on December 28, has been delayed for two more days on account of the rough weather in the deep sea. And during the two days period, the country cannot put in 250mmcfd RLNG into the system, which would also cause more suffering to the domestic consumers and the system would remain under pressure. Earlier, an LNG cargo from Nigeria, which was due on December 18, 2020, got delayed by four days.

The situation has gone out of the control on account of government’s failure to manage spot LNG cargoes for the first 20 days of January, 2021. Though, the government has shifted delivery of some LNG cargoes, due in the last week of December to the first week of January to stagger the gas crisis, but in Karachi, the captive power plants for general industry were also closed down. However, the export industry in Karachi also started experiencing either gas loadshedding for 5-9 hours per day or gas supply with low pressure.

Although, the whole savings of RLNG have been diverted to the domestic sector, yet the people are forced to purchase cooked breakfast from the market as they are not getting gas supply in their houses. The same situation is in Sindh and Balochistan, where the gas pressure is touching the lowest flow in main cities like Karachi, Hyderabad, and Quetta. In Punjab, dwellers in many pockets of main cities of Punjab, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan and Gujrat have been facing either no gas or gas with low pressure. In Peshawar, the situation is also bad in terms of gas availability.

According to the Sui Northern official, the RLNG supply to power sector has been reduced up to 155mmcfd for first 10 days of the month of January and afterwards. If the situation improves, then gas supply will be increased to the power sector. In case, the temperature goes down and the situation worsens, then for the next 10 days, the gas supply to the power sector will be further slashed.

So far, the Sui Northern officials claimed that the gas utility is doing gas load management as per the decision of the federal cabinet and if the weather situation aggravates, then it will also go for closure of gas to export industry once in a week. In the next ECC meeting, the closure of RLNG to the export industry will also be discussed and the Adviser to the PM on Commerce and Investment is expected to give a tough time to the Petroleum Division.