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Friday Nov 27 2020

Power out?: Karachiites’ fate next summer lies in the hands of SSGC

A Reuters file image.

Karachiites’ fate next summer is in the hand of Sui Southern Gas Company. According to a report in The News, the gas company has to take five actions to ensure the port city does not face power outages.

The federal government has decided to provide about 1,400mw to K-Electric from the national grid and is upgrading the system for it. KE wants the gas supply for its first gas turbine at the 900mw power plants at Port Qasim by March next year, and the desired pressure at CCPP, SGTPS, and KGTPS.

For this, the SSGC has to lay down infrastructure.

In October, Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan held a meeting at the SSGC headquarters with top KE and SSGC officials and Special Assistant on PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar.

It was decided that five actions need to be carried out by the gas company – 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8 – within the timeline.

But KE management is worried if the required work is not done, the electricity outlook will be in jeopardy. In November, the company wrote a letter to Amin Rajput of SSGC, seeking an update.

An SSGC spokesperson stressed that the required work will be done on time.

Items 1 and 2: They involve the availability of 30-inch pipeline and tie-in nozzle by January next year – needed for interconnection of KE spur pipeline. SSGC said it awarded construction contract last month and has initiated procurement of material to commission pipeline by February 28 2021 to transport 150mmcfd RLNG supply for the commissioning of 900 MW BQPSIII power plant in March 2021.

The gas company said the 30” x 17km pipeline is in the construction phase and will be completed within the stipulated timeline.

Item 3: KE sought an update on the timeline for interconnection agreement between SSGC and PLL, needed to formulate techno commercial basis for functionality of interconnection services associated with the supply of 150 mmcfd RLNG to KE. SSGC said that negotiations are underway and issues are being discussed and sorted at both ends. The power company said RLNG is needed to test-fire first gas turbine by March 21.

Item 7: KE wants to fix a date and time to discuss and conclude GSA open times. But SSGC stressed that a number of meetings have been held with the power company on the subject already.

Item 8: SSGC said it is running simulations and studying options to alleviate the pressure situation at SGTPS and Korangi power plants.

If these five items do not materialize on time, the city will continue to be haunted by load-shedding.