ISLAMABAD

Ministry of Water and Power is trying hard to get natural gas to produce cheap electricity and cut loadshedding, whereas Engro fertilizer is continue to receive 60 mmcfd natural gas, which was allocated for power generation, last year, TheNation has learnt.

According to sources last year this 60 mmcfd gas was allocated to Guddu thermal plant out of the fertilizer companies’ quota.

There are three fertilizer companies getting uninterrupted gas supply from Mari gas field through a dedicated line. These companies include Fauji fertilizers, Engro Fertilizers and Fatima Fertilizers.

Last year government decided to cut 12 per cent each from the allocated quota of these three fertilizer plants.

Fauji Fertilizer has three plants, two in Kot Macchi and one in Mirpur Mathelo and gets 260 mmcfd gas for these plants.

Engro has also three plants and is getting 174 mmcfd, while Fatima Fertilizer has been allocated 100 mmcfd. This cut was to operate Guddu thermal plant but it did not worked according to the plan. According to sources Engro lobbied and got this whole 60 mmcfd for themselves, whereas it was actually share of all three companies namely, Fauji, Engro and Fatima.

Engro Corporation’s portfolio consists of six businesses, which include fertilizers, foods, chemical storage & handling, trading, energy and petrochemicals.

Engro has been in media spotlight recently, for its LNG terminal construction project. The ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources processed this on fast track and Engro got approval from Ogra on, allegedly incomplete documents.

Engro claims that the licence was granted on merit but despite several requests Engro CEO did not provided the copies of documents submitted to Ogra.  Sources in Mari Gas told that the company has surplus gas and it could easily provide 114 mmcfd natural gas for the generation of electricity.

The sources said that 60 mmcfd gas, which Engro was getting out of turn, was straight away available and in addition to this 60 mmcfd, Mari has some other surplus gas which can be easily sold to power plants for electricity generation.

It is pertinent to mention that despite severe shortage of natural gas in the country for domestic consumers, the fertilizer companies continue to run huge amount of natural gas on daily basis at a very lowest rate, which is preferential rate of $0.7mmbtu. Engro chief was not available to comment despite many SMS and calls.