Tuesday November 29, 2022

Textile exporters threaten to move overseas on gas shortages

June 27, 2021
Textile exporters threaten to move overseas on gas shortages

KARACHI: Textile exporters on Saturday threatened to move their production bases to overseas unless power shortages are resolved in a move to mount pressure for withdrawal a decision to cut gas supplies to industrial units in Karachi.

Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, chief coordinator, Value-added Textile Forum, said exporters have formed a committee for due diligence to shift industries out of the country in the wake of gas crises and unviable business environment.

"Amid continuous gas crisis in the country specially in Karachi and in view of contradictory moves by the government towards its own business policies by depriving the exporters from level playing field and viable business environment, the textile exporters have constituted a committee to shift Industries elsewhere," Bilwani said in a statement.

The committee would correspond and negotiate with those countries that offer better business, export friendly policies and attractive incentives for foreign investors as well as their local industries.

"Textile exporters, who were most disappointed and burdened with one adverse factor after another, have been compelled to make these plans." The Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) last Wednesday informed Karachi-based industrial zones of a 170 million cubic feet per day gas shortfall in its system due to the annual turnaround of the Kunnar Pasakhi Deep gas field.

The SSGCL also said it would face a shortfall of 70mmcfd even after June 29 as the Kunnar Pasakhi Deep gas field turnaround is expected to end right through July 9.

In such a situation till the end of June, the company would not be able to provide gas equitably to all the sectors.

Industrialists said disruption of gas supply has impacted production with outfall to likely delay export orders as well as domestic supply of goods in the long run They are also looking at the suspension of production as their buyers might move to other countries including India and Bangladesh.

Bilwani said since June 11, 2021 there was ‘zero’ gas pressure, which has crippled industries and halted export production. "During FY 2020-21, 99 days out of 320 working days, gas pressure was zero or low."

Further, he added textile exporters having RLNG connections and "paying through their nose to meet export orders at rate of Rs1,533 per MMBTU were also not provided gas".

“How can industries work out the basic raw material - gas?” he asked. “There is no chance that the textile export industries will get the required gas smoothly with adequate pressure in future.”