- Industrialists complain situation will affect delivery
The ongoing gas shortage issue in Sindh has become a headache for industrialists in Karachi, who are afraid that the situation could hamper their exports delivery, reported Arab News on Wednesday.
The current gas shortage situation in the province has arisen due to the temporary shutdown of Kunnar-Pasakhi Deep (KPD) Gas Field, one of the largest suppliers of natural gas, which is undergoing annual maintenance work, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) said in a statement.
Due to the closure of KPD field, SSGC is facing a shortage of 170 mmcfd gas, a situation that is expected to last till the end of June 2021 when the field will resume its normal operations, it said.
SSGC has also stopped the supply of gas to non-export industries indefinitely. The shortage added with fluctuation in supply has dented industrial activity in Pakistan’s financial hub.
"It takes us hours to heat up boilers due to low gas pressure these days,” Abdul Hadi, president of the SITE Association of Industry, told Arab News. “Then there are frequent fluctuations that delay our production activities by about three to four hours a day.”
Hadi was of the view that the current situation was making it difficult for manufacturers to process export orders properly.
“If we fail to execute these orders on time, foreign buyers will move away from us and go to other manufacturers,” he said.
Exports play a vital role in Pakistan economy, which is battling a widening trade deficit. Exports posted a growth of 14 percent to $ 22.563 billion during first 11 months (July-May) 2020-21 as compared to $ 19.801 billion in the corresponding period of 2019-20, according to the figures released by Ministry of Commerce.
“Karachi’s share in Pakistan’s overall export is about 58 percent,” Muhammad Zubair Motiwala, chairman of the Businessmen Group at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was quoted as saying on Arab News. “It is up to the government to think how it is putting the country’s huge industrial exports from Karachi at stake.”
On the other hand, the SSGC has implemented the Gas Load Management Plan under which the domestic customers are given priority followed by the commercial customers. In order to meet the demand of both these customers, the CNG stations have been closed for a week in accordance with the Government's Gas Load Management Plan.
Currently, due to the closure of the field, SSGC is being supplied 1060 MMCFD gas from various other fields. On the other hand, overall demand for gas is 1250 mmcfd gas out of which 910 mmcfd fuel is indigenous and 150 mmcfd RLNG, said the gas company.