Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has extended the suspension period of gas supply for the industrial sector in Faisalabad region from 48 hours to 72 hours that has added to the anguish of the industries.
The SNGPL issued a notification to this effect on Wednesday. SNGPL officials said that Faisalabad region was facing serious gas shortage due to depletion of Qadirpur gas field reservoirs and technical fault in the plant that affected production.
The gas requirement of Faisalabad region is 450 millions metric cubic feet (mmcf) per day. However, against that demand, the available supply is 300 million metric cubic feet per day, causing a shortage of 150 million metric cubic feet. Due to this shortfall, SNGPL has extended the limit of suspensions of gas supply, they added.
The test burn of Qadirpur gas field will be carried out on Saturday and if the technical issues are resolved then the shortfall period would be reduced.
The increase in suspension period has created panic amongst the industrialists. The suspension of gas supply from two to three days will cause great loss especially to the exporters, said Waseem Latif, Chief Executive of Latif International Faisalabad. He said that the policies of the government were against the industrial sector.
The industrial sector will be ruined because of this extended of suspension of gas supply, he said, adding that this would cause a delay in both export and domestic orders.
The supply cut will also affect tens of thousands of daily wagers at a time when poverty is increasing along with inflation, said Pakistan Hosiery Manufactures and Exporters Association Chairman Salamat Ali.
He said 600 manufacturing units of Faisalabad will be closed for 72 hours every week. The daily wagers will be the most affected when compared to other permanent and contractual employees.
Consequently, the probable delay in international orders due to the three-days gas shortages may lead to foreign buyers moving to China, India, Bangladesh and to the other regional players, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2011.
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