ISLAMABAD - Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) supply to CNG stations in Punjab was suspended at 7am this morning (Tuesday morning), as the government has diverted RLNG to power generation plants to cope with the loadshedding.

The CNG sector is number four on the priority list therefore the supply of RLNG was suspended to gas stations across Punjab, an official source told The Nation here on Monday.

Although the CNG association was informed by the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) that due to maintenance of the LNG terminal RLNG supply has been discontinued but in reality the gas was diverted to cover the reduction in hydel power generation, the official said.

In December 2016, gas supply to CNG stations in Punjab was suspended and it was told that it was due to maintenance. Maintenance takes place once a year and not every four months, the official said.

CNG stations in Punjab and Islamabad do not consume local gas but are running on the imported LNG only. Out of the total 2400 CNG stations in Punjab and Islamabad, currently around 900 CNG stations are operating on the imported RLNG and are consuming around 53 MMCFD of RLNG. Since no local gas is being provided to the CNG stations in Punjab, the remaining 1500 stations are closed.

It is pertinent to mention here that due to low pressure to domestic gas consumers in January the government had discontinued RLNG supply to CNG stations for 18 days.

The government is currently facing a deficit of around 4500 MW in the supply and demand of the electricity mainly due to the reduction in hydel power generation and extraordinary heat wave. However, the government hopes that snow melting will accelerate in the coming days and it will help increase hydropower generation.

The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has informed the CNG association that RNLG supply to CNG stations will be suspended at 7am on April 4 and restored in the morning on April 8.