ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to continue with its load management plan under which natural gas is not supplied to CNG dispensing stations in Sindh for two nights and one day every week and the industrial units for one day (Sunday).
The government has also decided to keep the three-day load management plan for the CNG sector in Punjab unchanged for the time being.
Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain held a meeting with stakeholders on Friday and discussed the distribution of natural gas among CNG filling stations, domestic consumers and industrial units.
The representatives of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), All Pakistan CNG Association, fertiliser units, Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGCL), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL), ministries of industries and food security, and officials of Ogra attended the meeting.
The meeting was informed that the country was facing a serious shortage and the domestic consumers were getting low gas pressure because of the wide gap between supply and demand.
Petroleum Secretary Mohammad Ejaz Chaudhry made a presentation on the existing situation in the sector. He said a new gas load management schedule for the SSGCL would have to be implemented because of gas shortage in Sindh, which is the largest gas-producing province in the country.
It has been decided that gas loadshedding would continue for CNG stations in Sindh, including Karachi, for one day and two nights a week. However, the one-day weekly gas curtailment for industries would be observed on Sundays.
It has been decided that the Fuji Fertiliser would be supplied gas up to Dec 31. “This decision has been taken to facilitate the supply of fertiliser to farmers,” the secretary told the meeting.
The filling stations getting gas from the SNGPL, except those in Islamabad, would continue to remain closed for three days due to a court order.
The gas supply to the industrial sector would remain shut for three-and-a-half days and the fertiliser industry would not be supplied gas in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The CNG sector has taken strong exception to the government decision and criticised the SNGPL for low pressure even on the days when they are allowed to operate.
“The government has allowed supply of gas to industries in violation of the agreement between the SNGPL and industrial units under which the supply was to remain shut during December, January and February,” said an official of the CNG Association of Pakistan.
The secretary said the gas was being supplied to industries in winter months for compensation that they were not getting regular supply in summer months too.
The minister directed the SNGPL and the SSGCL to finalise LPG bottling and marketing within 30 days in order to facilitate domestic consumers during gas shortage.
It was also decided that any sector defying mutually agreed gas load management plan would be considered to be in violation of the Gas Theft Act 2011 and would be punished as per law.
The minister appealed to people to adopt conservative measures for natural gas consumption during this crisis situation and help the government in identifying violators.