No gas for CNG stations, industries during 3 winter months

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has decided to close down the gas supply to CNG stations, captive power plants (CPPs) and industrial and fertiliser sectors in the coming winter season.

During December, January and February, the country is estimated to experience a gas shortfall of 1.8 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

The top mandarins of the ministry, in a meeting held here on Wednesday with Federal Minister Shaid Khaqan Abbasi, put their heads together and deliberated on the gas load management programme for the winter season.

According to a top official who was part of the meeting, there would be zero gas supply for CNG stations, captive power plants, and industrial and fertiliser sectors as the country is estimated to face gas shortage of 1,800 million cubic feet gas per day (mmcfd).

He said the Sui Southern was estimated to experience gas deficit of 400 mmcfd gas whereas Sui Northern will face 1,400 mmcfd gas shortage per day. This shows that the Punjab would be the worst-hit province in the coming winter season in terms of gas availability.

To a question, the official said that the ministry was going to prepare a summary on gas load management in winter season, which would be sent to the ECC (Economic Coordination Committee) for final approval.

In the meeting, the managing director of Sui Northern and senior officials of the Sui Southern came up with their estimates about the gas deficit in the three months of December, January and February.

The officials said the volume of unaccounted-for gas (UFG) had reached 11 percent fromearlier claims of arresting the UFG at 8 percent. “One percent loss of gas from the system of Sui Southern means loss of Rs1.75 billion and from Sui Northern’s system one percent loss means loss of Rs2.25 billion.”

The official said this means that the country sustains a mammoth loss of over Rs45 billion every year in the heads of theft and system losses. The official said that there was an agreement in place between the government and industrial sector under which the government was bound to provide gas to the industrial sector for only nine months a year.So under the agreement, the ministry has decided not to provide gas to industrial and fertiliser sectors in December, January and February.

In the past, the industrial sector used to influence the government and manage to get the gas supply in the said three months of winter season also by violating the agreement. “But the sitting regime seems determined to implement the agreement under which the industrial sector will not be provided gas in the said three months. However, the final decision will be taken by the ECC.”