ISLAMABAD: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has sought Power Division’s support to get approval to cut fuel gas demand for two weeks from Uch Gas Field by shutting down individual wells one by one for a tie-in of UCH gas flow lines crossing Kachhi Canal at RD 1251 (Location-A), well informed sources told Business Recorder.

According to Wapda, Kachhi Canal Project, a major water initiative, aims to transform Balochistan’s agriculture by supplying sustainable irrigation to develop 713,000 acres of land. The 500-kilometer canal has a capacity of 6,000 cusecs, off takes from R/s of Indus River at Taunsa Barrage.

Presently, phase- 1 of the project, with 363 kilometers of lined canal and 81 kilometers of distributaries is operational since August 2017 irrigating 72,000 acres and generating Rs 3.82 billion in annual benefits.

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The 40 km lined canal including 32 km lined distribution system under remaining works of phase-l is near completion and will irrigate 30,000 acres to accrue Rs 1.67 billion per annum.

The work of shifting of UCH Gas Flow Pipelines at “Location-A” i.e. RD 1251+30l, Contract KC-68(2R) of Kachhi Canal (Phase-l) is being carried out under supervision of OGDCL approved consultants PEC along with Wapda consultants.

The welding work has been completed at site except tie-in of gas flow pipelines.

The Contractor M/s GRC (Pvt) Ltd has requested closure of existing flow line for Tie-in of newly laid pipelines in the month of June, 2024. In this context after meeting between Wapda consultants and OGDCL, following options were presented for Tie-in gas flow pipelines.

Option-1, Tie-in of gas flow lines during the upcoming closure/shutdown planned from October 12, 2024 to October 26, 2024 (15 days). Option-II, to approach UCH Power Limited (UPL) through Wapda for cut down of fuel gas demand from UCH Gas Field to shutdown individual wells one by one for Tie-in with consultation of OGDCL Management.

Member Wapda( Water), Jawaid A Latif maintained that considering the near completion of the flow lines, Option-l is not feasible. Any further delay in the Tie-in will lead to financial strain on Wapda due to increased overhead costs, security expenses, etc which is not affordable due to financial constraints.

In this context, a meeting was held with OGDCL authorities at Islamabad on May 29, 2024. OGDCL authorities argue that the wells / lines are under operation to produce power and can only be closed under regular shutdown in October, 2024 or special arrangement (shutdown for a period of 15 days in June 2024) can be made for which Ministry of Energy (Power) may take decision in consultation with OGDCL, UPL & CPPA.

Given the critical nature of work, Water and Development Authority has requested Power Division to accord approval to implement option-II for the Tie-in/connectivity of UCH Gas flow lines crossing Kachhi Canal at RD 1251 (Location-A). This option necessitates a special closure/shutdown for a period of 15 days in June 2024 for completing this work within the specified timeframe.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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