Friday December 09, 2022

Traders demand diversion of local gas to grid suppliers

By Our Correspondent
August 25, 2022

KARACHI: Trade bodies in Karachi have appealed the government to ensure lower electricity prices for both residential and commercial consumers, proposing to divert up to 100 mmcfd indigenous natural gas to K-Electric (KE), the only power distributor in the city.

“Karachi customers are continuously penalised with exorbitant fuel charge adjustments in their electricity bills as SSGC [Sui Southern Gas Company Limited] diverts cheaper indigenous natural gas to captive power producers while supplying five times more expensive RLNG to KE,” read a statement signed by 8 trade bodies in the city.

Electricity charges in Karachi have crossed Rs45/unit, causing huge burden to the people and industries in the city, it added.

Bin Qasim Association of Trade and Industries (BQATI), Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers, Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers, and 5 others were among the signatories.

“Captive power plants are being supplied 200 mmcfd natural gas at Rs857/mmbtu, while KE is being supplied RLNG at Rs4700/mmbtu. Cheap gas to captive power producers is a subsidy, which is being given to the rich and recovered from the poor consumers of Karachi,” BQATI president Ellahi Buksh Anwer said.

He urged the government to direct SSGC to prioritise indigenous gas supplies to the domestic and industries consumers in the city in line with a Cabinet Committee of Energy decision in 20218.

“At the same time, K-Electric must be held responsible for reducing their cost of generation through the addition of more renewable resources. It is unfair that a tiny segment of influential industries is afforded preferential treatment at the hands of all these entities while the cost burden is shifted to everyone else,” he added.