LAHORE: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Managing Director Amjad Latif has said that the company with import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is now in a position to provide gas to textile and other sectors of the economy.
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“Currently, 470 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of re-gasified LNG is available in the system and we hope the volume will reach 1,200 mmcfd by the end of this year,” Latif said at a joint press conference with members of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab Chapter on Wednesday.
“The Punjab industry is getting gas 24 hours a day and seven days a week and we hope it will receive gas round the clock in future too,” he said.
Of this volume, 160 mmcfd is being supplied to the textile industry, followed by 20 mmcfd for fertiliser plants, 50 mmcfd for compressed natural gas filling stations and the remaining is for power producers.
Latif revealed that a consortium of banks was providing a loan of Rs70 billion for gas import from different suppliers.
Regarding new gas connections for the industry, he announced that policy guidelines would be finalised soon in this regard.
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He said 6% of unaccounted-for-gas (UFG) - which covers theft and wastage - was a logical ceiling and the issue was pending adjudication with the Supreme Court right now. SNGPL’s UFG loss stood in single digit and a new Gas Act was in place to step up recovery of arrears, he said.
To a query, he replied that the execution phase of the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project was under way.
Speaking on the occasion, Aptma Punjab Chairman Aamir Fayyaz praised the government for supplying gas 24/7 to the textile industry at affordable prices.
The textile industry of Punjab now faced no interruption in energy flow after a period of six years, for which it had shed tears of pain, he remarked.
“The availability and affordability of energy was a big issue for the Punjab textile industry, we appreciate government’s efforts in this regard,” he added.
Fayyaz pointed out that the textile industry, particularly the mills running in Punjab, was at a great disadvantage in the region and had not been able to compete in the market, but the provision of gas would enable it to cope with the challenges.
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He called developments in pipeline projects for gas import a very encouraging sign for the country.
“I am sure that the industry’s needs will be given due preference in future as only a level playing field will enable us to compete internationally,” he asserted.
He voiced optimism that textile exports could be doubled in the next few years from $13 billion to $26 billion if the energy flow remained smooth and that too at an affordable price.
“This will also generate employment opportunities that may reach 30 million from the existing 15 million direct and indirect jobs,” he said. “Job creation is a must for success in the war on terrorism and there is no other way out.”
The textile industry is consuming 160 mmcfd of re-gasified LNG and the volume could reach around 200 mmcfd if gas connections are provided to the remaining mills.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2016.
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