Wednesday October 20, 2021

Utilities cut gas supply to industry, transport as shortages hit

October 09, 2021
Utilities cut gas supply to industry, transport as shortages hit

LAHORE: Yet another manmade gas crisis is going to hit industry and transport hard as poor supply side management caused disruption in import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), sources said on Friday.

The delay in arrival of LNG ship is being blamed on mismanagement and poor governance of energy affairs. Successive failures in setting up of new terminals and augmentation of existing ones have made demand supply situation precarious to the extent that even a delay of a few days in LNG import virtually shut major industrial and transport activities for several days in the whole country.

The latest snapping of gas supplies will be at fourth such suspension in vital energy chain this year, thanks to colossal failure of energy establishment of the country. First such closure of gas supply to industry and other sectors stuck in January this year followed by similar crisis in June and September.

Both gas utilities---Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) have announced to shut gas supplies of industry and CNG sectors from Saturday morning.

According to a SSGC announcement, the company resorted to load management in the wake of sudden shortfall in regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to ensure unhindered gas supply to domestic and commercial customers.

The supply to RLNG to SSGC has been affected due to high tide in the sea that is making it difficult for the LNG carrying ship to arrive in Karachi port.

To ensure uninterrupted gas supply to the highest priority domestic and commercial customers, as per the government of Pakistan's Gas Load Management Plan, SSGC is curtailing gas supply to CNG stations particularly those running on RLNG, as well the captive power (non-export) industries, from 8am on October 8 till 8am on October 11 (Monday).

On the other hand, SNGPL which depends on imported gas for meeting its as high as 60 percent natural gas requirement, issued a notification on October 07, 2021, stating more explicitly that re-gasification rates from Pakistan GasPort Consortium Limited (PGPC) or Terminal-2 have been reduced due to delay in arrival of Pakistan LNG Ltd’s (PLL) 8th October cargo. Owing to consequent decrease in re-gas rates, system pack is depleting rapidly.

In order to manage the gas loads, company adds, all the regions have been asked to ensure suspension of gas/RLNG supply to CNG, cement and general industry (non-export) along-with captive power across the franchised area of SNGPL (including Punjab & KPK) from 0000 hours on October 8, 2021 for the next 48 hours.

When attention of federal Minister for Energy, Hammad Azhar was diverted to yet another manmade gas crisis, he said that there is a delay of about two days in arrival of ship and we are expecting resumption of full gas tomorrow or day after.

To a question about inflexible gas import infrastructure which does not have capacity to absorb shocks with cushions like permanent on-shore terminal and additional import facility, Minister said, “yes. We are working on storages to deal with such challenges”.