Energy crisis: Gas supply shut indefinitely for industries in Punjab

Published: December 29, 2011
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Move aimed at protecting domestic users as gas pressure drops to alarming level. DESIGN: ANAM HALEEM

Move aimed at protecting domestic users as gas pressure drops to alarming level. DESIGN: ANAM HALEEM

LAHORE: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has announced gas curtailment for all industries of Punjab for an indefinite period of time. According to a notification issued by the company, the decision was taken to provide the gas to its domestic consumers.

However, the fertiliser sector will be provided with gas as per the agreement as SNGPL officials said that if they disconnect gas to fertiliser sector then it would be contempt of court.

SNGPL has updated its website as well in this regard. Industrial Zone II of Punjab was scheduled to resume gas supply from today, but this did not happen.

Accordaing to SNGPL, due to a country-wide gas shortage the company is currently facing a shortfall of 700 mmcfd. Company officials say that the total demand on the SNGPL network is 2,600 mmcfd and the supply is about 1,900 mmcfd.

SNGPL is still waiting for instructions from the Ministry of Power and natural Resources on how to manage the gap but in the meantime has  planned to shut down the industry in Punjab till further notice.

The company has also planned to disconnect gas to all CNG stations of Punjab from next month if the situation persists, however the final decision would be taken with the compliance of the ministry.

The company spokesperson told The Express Tribune that the gas line Pack (gas pressure in the pipe line) had come down to 2,600 mmcft which has forced the company to take this decision. He said that if the pressure drops to 2,500 the entire system will collapse and it takes a week to revive it.

The gas pressure for domestic consumers on the other hand was also observed to be low in most parts of the provincial metropolis. The company held CNG stations responsible for this.

The domestic consumers have a total demand of 650 Mmcft gas and is provided with almost the same demand. The general industry demands 440 Mmcft of gas and was provided with only 250 Mmcft gas. Similarly Textile industry has total demand of 210 Mmcft and was provided with 120 Mmcft gas. Fertilizer sector requires 240 Mmcft gas and is provided with 175 Mmcft of gas. CNG sector requires 325 Mmcft gas and was provided with 260 Mmcft gas.

All Pakistan textile Mills Association (APTMA) has now decided to come on roads in protest. APTMA chief Gohar Ijaz said that the textile industry has already suffered a lot due to the energy crises,

Hundreds of workers and owners of textile industries staged a protest demonstration on the motorway (M-3) to express their resentment over the suspension of gas supply to industrial units. The demonstrators belonging to different textile units of the city blocked the Kamalpur Interchange (M-3) that caused suspension of vehicular traffic on the motorway for more than 2 hours. Muhammad Naveed, a daily wager, participating in the demonstration said that if mills worked for six days a month, how could they make their living and provide bread to their family and small children? Another protester Ghulam Rasool said the new gas load management plan was a well-calculated and well thought-out conspiracy against the present regime in the province and the people sitting at the helm of affairs must understand the importance of the industry.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • hedgefunder
    Dec 29, 2011 - 9:15PM

    Another nail in the industry’s coffin ! So what little industry that is in existance is now going to perish !
    Smart move, now that their all weather friend will have complete control of market, as Pakistan will simply depend on cheap imports from them.
    Hope they give favourable interest free long term credit, as Pakistan simply is not in position to pay for anything at present or in near future !

    Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Dec 29, 2011 - 9:28PM

    I remebered therty years ago most of industry change dto gas from others and now no gas left in pakistan hahahahah Recommend

  • Cautious
    Dec 29, 2011 - 9:39PM

    The real shame is that the lack of gas didn’t happen overnight — you knew about this many years ago and sat back and did nothing. Now you don’t have any money to fix the problem – are losing your wealthy American friends – and are stuck in a bad place.

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  • NA
    Dec 29, 2011 - 10:04PM

    @Cautious:
    @hedgefunder:
    I am sure both of you are part of an organization for Anti-Pakistan media war.

    Recommend

  • Saim Baig
    Dec 29, 2011 - 10:24PM

    Another achievement of the current government.
    Welcome to stone age!!!

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  • Harry Stone
    Dec 29, 2011 - 10:30PM

    Seems everyone is still surprised by the shortage.

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  • hedgefunder
    Dec 29, 2011 - 11:00PM

    @NA:
    Rest assure i am part of no organistaion, and i have pakistani friends since college days, which is over 30 years!
    I am just calling it as i see it, nothing more!
    Yes, if you asked me to invest in Pakistan , the answer is straight NO !
    Not good business, with all the mess there !

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  • hedgefunder
    Dec 29, 2011 - 11:04PM

    @Harry Stone:
    Yes ! because these lot have decided to bury their heads in soil, so as not to see anything, which they don’t want to.
    This is just a starter for other problems due to arrive at their door step in coming year, and all they will do is blame others for their own stupidity !

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  • truepak
    Dec 29, 2011 - 11:28PM

    now this is another conspiracy against ‘democracy’? i think the govt is living on a different planetRecommend

  • AsliShasli
    Dec 30, 2011 - 12:41AM

    Yes Gas Shortage, yeah right!!!
    Pakistan have the 28th biggest Natural Gas Reserves in the world, yet all of a sudden there is hardly any gas left. Or may be it is the huge LPG import contracts and huge terminal being built outside Karachi, god forbid if any accident happens there will destroy whole of karachi.
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  • Realist.
    Dec 30, 2011 - 1:59AM

    Thank you Musharraf!!
    Any Musharraf’s tenure’s growth rate supporter here?

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  • Dec 30, 2011 - 4:05AM

    More examples of ‘democracy is the best revenge’, after the 300 billion losses through corruption in the fertilizer scam.

    Can the PPP and its jiyalas hell-bent on ‘vengeance’ stop taking ‘revenge’ from the people of Pakistan please …?

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  • Kashif Iqbal
    Dec 30, 2011 - 4:12AM

    Punjab is the victim here. Its a federal government’s conspiracy against Punjab.

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  • Sana Abdullah
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:05AM

    Fertilizer plants on the SNGPL network are shut down since 10th December 2011. I advise the writer of the article to set his facts straight first.

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  • faraz
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:53AM

    @NA:
    Stop denying reality. ‘Cautious’ and ‘hedgefunder’ say the truth and it hurts everybody because it’s the truth and Pakistanis like to live in denial and… everything to us is Anti-Pakistan. Stop living in denial, everything that hurts is not Anti-Pakistan, truth is always bitter.

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  • Saleem
    Dec 30, 2011 - 8:00AM

    Another slap on Punjab for not voting for PPP in last election.

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  • Blithe
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:34PM

    PPP should stop anti-Punjab bias.

    The factory workers here are from all
    parts of Pakistan….

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  • MAHER ALI
    Dec 30, 2011 - 5:50PM

    RIP Pakistani Industry…
    1947-2011
    (Will be reincarnated when this SO CALLED DEMOCRATIC GOVT WILL GOOOOOOO)

    Recommend

  • Nusrated
    Dec 31, 2011 - 1:04PM

    I don’t get it. We are also experiencing 10hr of load shedding here in lahore even though lahore has a much higher percentage of population who pay electricity bills compared to cities in sindh like karachi… Where as karachi is suffering no electricity shortage.

    The real joke is that Pakistan has large gas reserves that have not been developed by the government. Who instead favour taking bribes and a lotting lucrative gas import contracts to foreign companies.

    Where is the media! Why is our media so scared and not reporting on corruption in the government. The media needs to grow a pair and engage in proper investigative journalism and expose the corruption.

    Recommend

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