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Thursday Sep 24 2020
Web Desk

Gas shortage to double in winter season, warns SSGC

Web Desk

KARACHI: The upcoming winter season will be a difficult one for the consumers of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) as the supply from five gas fields comes to a halt.

The state-run gas distribution company on Wednesday warned the government of an imminent shortfall in supply and advised the authorities to make alternate arrangements for the additional supplies to meet the demand.

A spokesperson of the SSGC told The News on Wednesday that supply from five gas fields, including Zargoun, Sinjhoro, Kunar Pasaki, Sujawal and Nurbagla has stopped causing a shortage of 150 million metric cubic feet per day (mmcfd), “which would increase to over 350 mmcfd in winters”.

“Zagoun in Quetta and Sinjhoro gas field in Sindh have gone for the annual turnaround,” said the spokesperson.

He said that supply from Kunar Pasaki is near zero due to technical issues while Sujawal and Nurbagla in Sindh have depleted.

“We have informed the government of the shortage,” said the spokesperson. “It is now up to them to arrange additional supplies through imports or whatever source deemed fit.”

The official said the Prime Minister Imran Khan has convened a meeting on Thursday (today).

SSGC is getting around 970 mmcfd at present against the demand of around 1.2 billion cubic feet per day.

The gap would exceed 350 mmcfd in winters as the demand is expected to cross 1.4 billion cubic feet per day.

‘Domestic users to get gas only during cooking hours’

Earlier, the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) had cautioned that natural gas will be provided only during cooking hours.

In a report published Tuesday, an official of the SNGPL impressed upon the consumers regarding wise use of gas in the coming months and said the gap between demand and supply of gas increases more than three times during winter. Consequently, the difference can be as high as 500mmcfd for domestic consumers in the whole network of gas utility during the severe winter months.

Hence, gas will only be provided during cooking hours in winter to domestic consumers, who have been assigned top priority in merit order, he had said.

The gas utility asked consumers to use gas wisely; they should use electric heaters instead of traditional unhealthy gas heaters and use solar or instant geysers on a priority basis, instead of traditional gas geysers.

The prime minister has already announced that the country is going to face a major gas crisis this winter, while the crisis would be much worse next year.

“The country is facing energy challenges because other governments never welcomed debate and discussion on it,” PM Imran had said while addressing a seminar earlier this month.

“If we would have held debates in the past, our power crisis wouldn't have been so severe.”