Week-long gas suspension planned for Punjab industries

Shortfall to increase due to annual maintenance of Qadirpur gas field.

Shamsul Islam August 22, 2011

FAISALABAD: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has decided to suspend gas supply to all industrial sectors of Punjab for seven consecutive days from next week due to increase in the overall gas shortfall.

Sources claimed that due to annual maintenance of Qadirpur gas field, SNGPL authorities have chalked out a gas curtailment plan under which all industries including the textile sector will face gas outages for seven days in rotation. Qadirpur gas field will be closed from August 24 to September 15.

SNGPL officials said that Punjab will face a serious gas crisis due to closure of this important gas field and only this province will face the brunt of overall shortfall.

Punjab province has been divided into two zones to implement this plan under which Lahore, Sahiwal and Sheikhupura regions will face gas closure continuously from August 27 to September 2 while the second part of the province consisting of Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Gujranwala regions will face suspension from September 1 to 7.

Gas department officials confirmed that the formal gas curtailment plan has been prepared and sent to the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for further approval. SNGPL officials also told that notification in this regard will be issued within the next 24 hours for which emergent meetings have also been called in Lahore and Faisalabad.

Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association Chairman Salamat Ali confirmed the orders about closure of gas for industries for a week, adding that the government has declared the current year as textile year but the policies are totally negating the government strategies.

Meanwhile, SNGPL officials also confirmed that after Eid-ul-Fitr, CNG sector will face gas outages for four days in a week.

They told that due to closure of Qadirpur gas field, gas outages of CNG stations will be increased to four days from the current two days in a week and these orders will be implemented till mid-September.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd,  2011.