KPD gas field resumes supply to SSGC: Azhar

Country likely to experience outages of up to 8 hours in cities; up to 10 hours in rural areas


Our Correspondent July 01, 2021
Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar. PHOTO: TWITTER/@Hammad_Azhar

ISLAMABAD:

Kunnar-Passaki Deep (KPD) gas field has resumed supply to the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) network after days of decline in gas availability, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said on Wednesday.

Taking to Twitter, the energy minister announced that the gas field had completed its annual turnover and was now ready to pump the much-needed gas to the SSGC.

He said the start of dry docking of Engro’s LNG terminal will be completed by Monday and that Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) gas diversions are also expected to take place during this period.

Meanwhile, the power shortfall in the country has reached 5,000 MW, according to sources in the Power Division. The country is likely to experience outages of up to 8 hours in cities and up to 10 hours in rural areas. Power will be cut off for 6 hours in Islamabad and 8 hours in Rawalpindi city, sources said.

The country is facing a twin crisis of energy and gas as the SNGPL completely stopped gas supply to three sectors, including cement and CNG stations in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa till July 5.

Earlier, the energy minister had told a private news channel that the government would cover the gas shortage for power generation by slamming brakes on the supplies to the industries and the CNG sector and diverting system gas to power plants.

On Monday, in view of a shortage of gas that is affecting power generation, the energy ministry issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) to power producers to import furnace oil.

The NOC for importing the much-needed fuel was issued after the Petroleum and Power Division held a consultation with the Cabinet Standing Committee on Energy.

The decision was made after disruptions in the gas supply to power plants fuelled fears of an intense energy crisis and a dramatic reduction in the supply of electricity across the country.

Earlier, the SSGC also admitted that it was using load-shedding in different areas of Karachi, insisting that it was a necessary step to prevent “burdening people with gas transmission losses”.

The company also proposed an increase of Rs109.78/mmbtu in gas prices to Rs789.24/mmbtu.

Speaking to media, SSGC Managing Director Imran Maniar had said several parts of the city were experiencing gas load-shedding, adding the company was facing several issues in distribution particularly in old areas of the city.

Maniar blamed “gas theft and leakage” for cutting off the gas supply and shrugged off when asked about resolving the losses issue.  “The unplanned earthworks damage the network and cause leakages. [The] leakage and gas theft are the primary reasons for the company’s losses.”

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