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LAHORE: Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) has appealed to the business community to sign RLNG contracts, at least, for the upcoming winter period as resources of system gas are depleting with the passage of time.

“After meeting KP’s consumption requirements, Punjab only receives about 500 MMCFD which is not enough for the domestic users,” according to Senior General Manager Syed Jawad Naseem, who also added that signing an LNG contract is a viable option for the industry.

He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI). LCCI president Kashif Anwar and vice president Adnan Khalid Butt also spoke on the occasion while executive committee members were also present.

SNGPL, on the request of LCCI, will put up the extension in disconnection date of 31st October to the higher authorities.

The LCCI president Kashif Anwar said Lahore Chamber will convince its members to shift to the RLNG for the upcoming winter period.

Jawad Naseem said RLNG and system gas supplied through same pipes, the industry will not need to change the equipment after shifting on to the RLNG gas, he informed and said the department was trying to find out a solution to the problem of difference in production, price and GIDC in Sindh and Punjab. He said there is no production of gas in Punjab but the state is the highest consumer base in terms of number of users.

“The global energy crisis spurred by the conflict in Ukraine has already effected global energy supply chain, price hike and took people to the roads around the globe due to price increases,” said MD SNGPL and informed that due to the policies of the government the rupee is stabilizing and it will reflect in the prices of energy as well.

The SGM SNGPL pointed out that the domestic consumers are the top priority in terms of gas supply. All the commercial consumer’s including new housing societies are being shifted to the RLNG for the last 4-5 years.

He said that the winters are a challenge and commercial consumers should cooperate in this regard. He said that there are two options for commercial consumers including RLNG and LPG.

LCCI president Kashif Anwar said Gas in Punjab is very expensive as compared to Sindh and KP due to which the production cost here is very high. He said that the government has assured five zero-rated sectors to supply the gas at $9 per MMBTU while the rate for remaining sectors is double. He said that the gas should be provided a uniform rate throughout the country like electricity and POL.

Kashif Anwar said that the commercial customers have been served notices that the gas supply to them will be suspended from November 1st. He said that those commercial customers, who will sign the contract by October 31, will be able to have RLNG supply otherwise the connections will be disconnected. He said that the commercial consumers have been given very little time. At least one month should be given and their legitimate demands should be considered.

The LCCI president said the rate of gas for commercial consumers are too high and if RLNG is supplied to the corrugated, packaging and other industries at expensive rates, it will become difficult for the industrialists to run their businesses. He said that the new connections are being shifted to the RLNG that is directly linked with the dollar. This decision should be reviewed in the larger interest of the industry.

He said the equipment for RLNG are designed for gas which will require replacement and sufficient tile to shift to RLNG so the shifting should be in the phases.

He said disruption in industrial process causes a lot of damage. In case of scheduled load-shedding of gas, the industry completes its production process but in case of unannounced load-shedding, the industries have to bear a huge loss so unscheduled load-shedding of gas should be stopped. Moreover, the industry should be the first priority for gas supply as it is the major sources of exports, employment and revenue for the government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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