Gas supply in Sindh to increase next year: SSGC

Karachi: The gas supply in Sindh would be enhanced with the additional supply of about 100 mmcfd gas by next year, said Managing Director Sui Southern Gas Company SSGC Zuhair Siddiqui.

Addressing to the members and office bearers of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry KATI here on Saturday, he said that through new gas fields supply of 50 to 60 mmcfd is expected by early next year while another 50 mmcfd LPG air mix gas through LPG plant under completion at Port Qasim is expected to work soon.

He further said that with the improvement of gas supply the demand of gas too will grow with the same ratio and to overcome this grim situation all sectors of gas consumers would have to sacrifice whether they are domestic consumers, industrial, commercial or CNG sector.

He said that SSGC has sought permission from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority OGRA to allow SSGC to collect surcharge for gas on account of theft by nonregistered consumers. He said OGRA is not allowing SSGC volumes on account of pilferage by non-consumers despite a directive of the federal cabinet, which was followed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources’ advice to allow the same.

He said the Karachi Electric Supply Company KESC owes a huge amount of over Rs42bn to SSGC and another big amount of Rs12 billion remained outstanding against Pakistan Steel due to which SSGC is facing financial crunch and compelled to get bank financing in order to run its day to day affairs. He further informed that KESC has now refused to pay late payment surcharge as well. He said that both the major defaulters have been put on notice.

Siddiqui says that SSGC supplies 100 mmcfd to the CNG sector. “Although we suspend CNG supplies for three days a week, pumps still manage to sell nearly as much gas in the remaining four days as they would in a week without any CNG closure. But still, it helps us control pressure for other sectors on CNG suspension days,” he said.

He said all car owners belonged to the top 5% income bracket, which should be enough for the government to ban CNG in private cars. “The days of cheap gas are over. CNG should be restricted to public transport only. We’re the 27th largest producer of gas globally, but we’re number one in terms of CNG consumption,” Zuhair said.

He informed that recovery from industrial sector is excellent.

On query by Chairman KATI Mohammad Zubair Chhaya regarding launching awareness campaign about gas conservation, he said that SSGC has initiated advisory service for the industrial sector and any industrialist can obtain advisory service free of charge. He said that a significant amount of 110 mmcfd gas could be saved through adopting conservation methods and installation of right types of gadgets.

Regarding exempting the industry from loadshedding on Sundays he said that it would be done as soon SSGC gets the additional supply. He said that even domestic consumers in many gas deficient countries have been shifted to LPG. He agreed with the point that that industry should be given priority on all consumers as it provides employment to the general masses.

Earlier, Zubair Chhaya said that Karachi’s industrial sector, which is major bread earner for the nation, is suffering badly due to utilities crisis and law and order situation. He said that gas loadshedding on
Sundays is causing immense problems industry and SSGC should discontinue this practice. He said that many industries are facing acute problem of low pressure of gas and their productivity is being affected badly.

President All Karachi Industrial Alliance, Mian Zahid Hussain said that we have to determine that which sector of gas consumers should be given priority. He said that gas heaters and water geysers should not have priority at all and government should come up with a policy of solar geysers and heaters. He demanded of the SSGC chief to supply gas to the industry on Sundays in lieu of shut downs and days of strike in the city as sometimes city remains closed due to unrest.

Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan said that we have to evolve comprehensive policies at national level setting up our priorities in order to overcome ongoing energy crisis.

Former Chairmen KATI Masood Naqi, Farhanur Rehman, Johar Ali Qandhari and Chairman SSGC Standing Committee Ehtesham Uddin also spoke.