ISLAMABAD -  The federal government has constituted a committee to make recommendations for unbundling of gas companies after the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government showed apprehensions to the idea of one National Transmission Company Limited (NTCL) for the gas transportation.

In a meeting with the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the Gas Sector Evolution Process (Unbundling) held in October, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak showed his apprehension over the idea of one NTCL, an official source told The Nation here Monday.

The CM said that instead of one transmission company, the federal government should establish provincial transmission and distribution company, the official said. It was decided to constitute a committee for the purpose. The committee will be chaired by chief secretary, while additional secretary MPNR, secretary, energy & power department KP and CEO KPOGCL will be its members. The committee will make recommendations for the Council of Common Interest (CCI) regarding the unbundling of gas utilities, the official said.

During the meeting, the minister said that the gas sector needs change and one step towards that direction is unbundling of transmission and distribution systems of SNGPL & SSGCL. He stated that following decision of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), the government is planning to unbundle each SNGPL & SSGCL into two distribution companies (Discos) and bundle the transmission system of both SNGPL and SSGCL into one transmission company, National Transmission Company Limited. NTCL will be a transport company without owning gas, unlike NTDCL/CPPA-G. Each of the provincial gas companies may sell gas to next or beyond gas companies and consumers.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has already formed three working committees to finalise recommendations for the unbundling of the gas utilities. Besides, MPNR has also engaged international consultants, through the World Bank, to develop a Roadmap. The federal government wants to hand over the distribution of gas to the province but Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is demanding handing over of both transmission and distribution to the provinces.

The chief minister, however, showed its reservation and said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is of the view that the gas transmission and distribution systems needs to be under one management for better planning and management.

The meeting was attended by chief Secretary, KP, Secretary, Energy and Power Department KP, Director, Director General Petroleum Concessions (DGPC), Managing Director, SNGPL and Chief Executive Officer CEO, KPOGCL.