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KARACHI: SSGC has taken strong exception towards the aggressive attitude of certain trade associations despite the Govt of Pakistan and SSGC’s efforts to mitigate the gas supply situation.

It must be understood that with the advent of winter as gas demand increased manifold, SSGC started implementing Cabinet Committee on Energy’s (CCOE) Load Management Plan by disconnecting non-export industrial and captive power connections. SSGC, however, was able to suspended gas to only 225 industrial units due to stay orders from the industrial units and ultimately there was issue of line-pack and gas pressure.

Consequently, SSGC tried to implement a framework along with the industries to rotate industrial areas every 5th day to generate 90 mmcfd gas. This arrangement did not work as industries continued to remain unhelpful and SSGC could only get 15 mmcfd available to the sector.

As a result, both the industry and domestic sector are in free flow as SSGC is unable to cut industry to create required pressure. Stay orders, whether it’s against disconnection or price increase are costing SSGC heavily and affecting the Company’s efforts to keep its infrastructure intact through robust rehabilitation and reinforcement and also in its anti-gas theft efforts being taken to curb line losses.

To achieve these major objectives, SSGC needs heavy funding and healthy cash flows but sadly the industry’s practice of approaching courts on one pretext after another and seeking refuge under stay orders is ultimately impacting the Company’s development activities meant for its consumers

Moreover, with regards to the demand of industries that 280 mmcfd gas be brought back to Sindh, it must be understood that allocation of gas fields is the prerogative of the Federal Government and interpretation of Article 158 is pending at Supreme Court level.

SSGC that serves the franchise areas of Sindh and Balochistan is currently faced with a shortfall of around 240 MMCFD. Phenomenal increase in space and water heating needs is one reason. Other reasons are the constant depletion in indigenous gas supplies of around 9-10% and lack of any major gas discoveries in over a decade.

The Company is focused towards ensuring sustained gas supplies to all its stakeholders but in the current situation, a more prudent and cooperative approach would have been a much better option.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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