Shortage for 22 days: SSGC customers brace for lower gas supply

Annual maintenance of one of the largest gas fields in progress.


Express April 07, 2011

KARACHI:


Customers of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) will be facing a substantial gas shortage for 22 days, beginning Monday, due to annual maintenance of Bhit gas field.


SSGC Deputy Managing Director Azim Iqbal Siddiqui, in a press conference, said that gas supply to industries, the fertiliser sector, CNG stations, and the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) will be curtailed from April 11 to May 4.

“SSGC has tried its best to maintain the maximum gas supply to its customers during the maintenance period of the Bhit gas field; however, we are facing the need to share this pain collectively,” said Siddiqui.

Bhit is among the three major gas fields of SSGC, as it produces more than 31 per cent of the company’s total gas. Total sales of the company stand at 1,100 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), of which Bhit produces 345mmcfd.

Industries are SSGC’s biggest customers, with consumption of 310mmcfd; resultantly, the matter has been discussed with representatives of these industrial associations. “We requested industries and they have agreed to reduce their gas consumption by 20 per cent to save gas during this period,” he informed.

KESC is normally provided 180mmcfd, which will be reduced to around 100 mmcfd due to the maintenance. CNG stations use 74mmcfd, but will be provided only 64 mmcfd. CNG stations will be shut down between 11pm and 6am to save around 10 mmcfd.

The managing director has already met the representatives from the fertiliser sector, which will be severely hit as gas supply will be reduced to 40 mmcfd from the present level of 85 mmcfd.

Siddiqui requested domestic consumers to reduce their gas consumption during this period. “Our domestic consumers will be unaffected in this maintenance,” he said, adding that domestic consumers can easily save 10mmcfd, which will greatly help the company. The share of domestic consumers in gas consumption is around 187 mmcfd.

Siddiqui said Pakistan has already lost a couple of years in planning import of gas, and expressed hope that SSGC would add 70 mmcfd to its offtake.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th,  2011.

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