LAHORE – The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, by revisiting its load management plan, has increased the duration of CNG suspension for Punjab’s filling stations from two-and-a-half days to three days in a week. The gas supply to industry, however, has been extended from two days to three days in a week.

“All the gas filling stations in the province will now be closed for three days from Monday. The textile sector will now get the gas supply for three days,” said an official of the SNGPL. According to the company, the gas supply has also been restored to the fertilizer sector, including Pak-Arab and Engro fertilizers. The company would further revisit its load management plan in April, added the official.

The SNGPL had divided the CNG filling stations into different regions and gas load management is being conducted for three-day in week for these regions on rotational basis. For example, gas supply for the filling stations of Lahore region would now be restored on Thursday morning at 6am while they would face closure on Monday at 6am. Earlier, the gas was being restored to Lahore’s filling stations on Wednesday night at 10pm. So, the company added eight hours in closure schedule of the CNG stations. The decision would directly hit the thousands of daily commuters, owners of vehicles and staff of filling stations who were hoping that the SNGPL would decrease the gas holidays in March due to improvement in weather condition. But the decision completely turned down their hopes. The SNGPL, however, claims that it is distributing gas to consumers what it gets from the gas sources.

“Gas shortfall decreased due to the improvement in weather conditions and reduction in gas consumption in domestic sector. The SNGPL is now facing a shortfall of 500 MMCFD which in last month was crossing 600MMCFF,” he added. The SNGPL official said the reason behind the closure of gas to CNG stations only to provide gas to the industry and fertilizer sector because both the sectors were the backbone of the economy.

All Pakistan CNG Association has criticised the decision of the SNGPL and called a CEC meeting of the Association on Monday to decide future plan.