Saturday Dec 19 2020
Web Desk

Gas crisis grips Pakistan; CNG pumps closed, pressure dips

Web Desk

  • CNG stations in Balochistan and Sindh will be closed twice a week, says SSGC
  • KP and Punjab, too, are suspending supply to CNG stations
  • Low gas pressure in Quetta is worrying the public

KARACHI/ QUETTA/ PESHAWAR/ ISLAMABAD: The gas shortage problem across Pakistan has the public worried. CNG stations are being closed in Sindh and Balochistan, gas supply to stations is being suspended in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab and to make matters worse - the winters are getting harsher.

Both Sindh and Balochistan have announced the closure of CNG stations. The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) had said the supply will remain suspended for two days a week — on Mondays and Saturdays.

"The decision was taken in light of the availability of gas," the SSGC had said Friday. 

The SSGC, moreover, said supply to industries will be slashed by 50%.

The supply to the CNG stations in KP has also been suspended for four days while the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited says it won't be supplying gas to the Punjab CNG stations indefinitely for now.

Read more about Pakistan's gas crisis

No gas in homes

In KP, Quetta and Punjab people are saying they don't have gas in their homes either.

Low gas pressure at homes has left families freezing, hungry and worried.

In Quetta, low gas pressure was reported in Raisani Town, Arif Road, Mir Ahmad Khan Road, Najamuddin Road, Kawari Road and adjoining areas.

Read more about the Pakistan government's thoughts on gas shortage

Punjab citizens are saying they have to buy expensive LPG gas because of this. Due to lack of gas, houses, flats, hospitals and mosques have become cold storages.

Citizens are protesting the reduction in the gas pressure. They are saying they are forced to use compressors because of the low gas pressure.

Officials of the SSGC, however, are saying Balochistan is getting all the gas it needs.

SSGC General Manager Madni Siddiqui said Balochistan is getting 200mmcfd of gas according to its requirement. He said the low pressure is because of the use of compressors.

SSGC, government say all is okay

The government has arranged 12 LNG cargoes for January 2021, a statement by the Petroleum Division spokesperson read.

He said additional LNG has also been arranged in some cargoes.

For January 2021, 30% more and cheaper LNG is being sought as compared to the rates and quantity in January 2018, the spokesperson said, adding that the SSGC is facing low gas pressure in Karachi and Quetta.

The supply to the CNG sector and Captive Power Plants has to be shut off under the load management plan approved by the Cabinet, he said.

Last week, the SSGC had temporarily suspended gas supply across seven areas in Karachi on a Sunday.

Earlier this month, Geo News reported that a major gas crisis is expected in Pakistan after no bids were received for the first time from LNG suppliers for the first half of January

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, however, had said all is well and the government has a plan to avoid a gas crisis