KARACHI: Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and trade associations reached an agreement to overcome gas crisis that is adversely affecting industrial production, industry officials said on Wednesday.
All seven industrial zones agreed not to use gas in their factories one day a week and in return SSGC would ensure full-pressure gas supply for six days a week under an agreement, they said.
“Seven Karachi town associations have signed a memorandum of understanding with SSGC on short term basis to address the gas crisis and find a solution to gas shutdown in industries,” Faisal Moiz, president of North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry said.
The government shut down gas to non-export industrial sector due to recurring maintenance works in the fields and shortfall aggravated by delay in LNG imports due to hype over the pricing of the fuel imported in the past.
Businessmen slammed the gas shutdown with the city, the industrial hub, getting 380 million metric cubic feet gas, only 18 percent of the total gas supply.
They said majority of exporters are devastated by the current crisis and skeptical about meeting orders on time. Economic activities have returned to normal after almost year of lockdown and partial lockdowns associated with coronavirus infection.
Economic growth is expected to recover 4 percent this fiscal year after contraction in the past fiscal year due to lockdowns that stopped industrial wheels and halted economic activities.
The government is expecting end of the temporary shortage in a couple of days as a major shipment of liquified natural gas would be re-gasified and distributed through SSGCL system within few days.
Moiz said the terminals would be repaired from June 29 to July 9 during which industries would not get gas at full pressure.
There is a 170 million cubic feet per day gas shortfall in SSGC’s system due to annual turnaround of the Kunnar Pasakhi Deep gas field. SSGC continues facing a shortfall of 70mmcfd as the Kunnar Pasakhi Deep gas field turnaround is expected to end after July 9.
Under the agreement, each zone has to observe gas holiday on its turn. “North Karachi industrialists will not run their factories on gas on Thursday due to our turn,” he said. “If any industrial unit violates the agreement, we will not be responsible.”