ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural resources has asked the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) to provide RLNG to only those sectors which are paying their bills, as there is no reason to provide free gas to any sector.

A high level meeting held at the ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP&NR) here decided that since the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are not ready to pay their bills so there is no reason to supply them free LNG and instead provide gas to those sectors which are regular in their payments, an official sources told The Nation here Wednesday.

The meeting was presided over by the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural resources and attended by the representatives of SNGPL, PSO and senior officials of the MP&NR. Last week, the SNGPL had suspended the RLNG supply to the CNG sector, in Punjab zone, and kept supplying gas to IPPs and fertilizers sector.

The minister asked the SNGPL that there is no logic to suspend the gas supply to the CNG sector, in Punjab, as they are paying their bills on time and continue to those who are not ready to pay their bills. He directed the SNGPL to continue supply of RLNG to the fertilizer and CNG stations as they are paying their bills on time. The supply of RLNG to CNG station is most likely start from today (Thursday), source maintained.

The source said that currently around Rs 29 billion was overdue against Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd for the supply of the LNG by the PSO and the power producers are not ready to make the payment as they want the government to pay for them. “You cannot provide LNG free of cost to the power sector companies with a hallmark of mismanagement and corruption,” the source said.

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier in July this year, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) had asked the government to arrange the payment of Rs 42 billion, overdue to power sector, immediately and warned that in case of none payment the oil supply chain may break down.

The source said that besides the non-payment issue another issue is the price of LNG which according to the IPPs is expensive than oil. The source said that currently LNG stock of eight days available and even if the government sector or IPPs refused to buy the gas there is huge private sector, ready to purchase the commodity.