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Sunday Jul 12 2020
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CNG stations to reopen today after govt arranges furnace oil for power sector

SSGC says the system was facing a shortfall of 300mmcfd. Photo: File

KARACHI: CNG stations in the city will reopen from today after the government made alternative arrangements to provide furnace oil to feed the power sector, central chairman of All Pakistan CNG Association Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said.

Paracha told The News on Saturday the government had previously announced to shut down all CNG stations in Sindh and Punjab for an indefinite period.

“We raised our voice across the power corridor and by evening, the secretary petroleum as well as Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nadeem Babar confirmed government’s decision to open fueling stations from Sunday,” he said. “Government has arranged furnace oil to feed the power generators.”

Paracha said the sector was already closed in Sindh for the last two days as gas was being diverted to K-Electric.

In a letter addressing petroleum pump owners, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) earlier said CNG stations would be closed from Friday to Sunday (closure of 48 hours) to divert gas to K-Electric. K-Electric is unable to meet the city’s demand due to unavailability of sufficient amount of furnace oil for its power plants. Last month, SSGC directed an additional 50 million metric cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas to K-Electric.

Moreover, gas supply to captive power plants was also announced to remain close for three days, from Friday to Sunday.

An SSGC official said the system was facing a shortfall of 300mmcfd.

Govt should get its own house in order: Paracha

Paracha said the government ignored reforms in the inefficient power sector and resultantly, the circular debt increased to unmanageable levels. He added the association’s members completed all legal formalities, but still they were unable to import gas for their own use.

“We signed a gas supply agreement with ExxonMobil and Trafigura on September 18, 2019, in the presence of Nadeem Babar and other government functionaries, who assured us that we could bring the first load on December 25, 2019. It’s been over six months, we are running from pillar to post, but we can’t get a slot at the floating storage re-gasification units (FSRU),” he lamented.

Paracha said there is a fixed re-gasification capacity and authorities are not allowing private importers to utilise government’s idle capacity or even the private capacity. “We can’t bring the commodity unless and until a slot is guaranteed at the FSRU.”

He added the government should put its house in order before helping private power companies like K-Electric on the cost of other sectors

Originally published in The News