ISLAMABAD               -            Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) Thursday suspended gas supply to industrial (excluding export oriented industry) and CNG sectors in Punjab/federal capital immediately.

The closure of gas supply to industrial (excluding export oriented industry), CNG sectors in Punjab and federal capital is part of winter load management plan 2019-20 of the SNGPL.

“We have lost another 150 MMCF from our pack during last 24 hours. Current pack has now gone below 3800 MMCF which is detrimental for the smooth operation of our transmission and distribution system,” SNGPL said in a letter to Secretary Petroleum Division.

Hence, immediate intervention is required to stabilize the system or we risk system collapse which may take longer time for recovery besides non supply of gas to vast areas especially tail end areas throughout our area of franchise, the letter added.

“In view of the above acute situation, we are left with no option but to proceed with suspension of gas supply to industrial (excluding export oriented industry) and CNG sectors in Punjab, immediately for few days, on an interim basis to avert merit down of our transmission system,” the letter maintained.

“We strongly condemn this approach. CNG sector is the only sector that is using RLNG and paying all dues in full. And is still not given priority over the sectors that are using RLNG but neither it is subsidized by the government or they are not paying the full dues due to one reason or the other,” said All Pakistan CNG Association in a letter to secretary Petroleum Division.

The letter further said that “Such closure of CNG sector adversely affects our clientele that shift to other fuels. Closure of 15 days last year due to the inefficiency of SNGPL caused us to lose more than 30 percent to our sales and were not able to recover that sale loss till today.”

Central chairman of All Pakistan CNG Association in its letter said that CNG sector of Punjab is already just surviving and this kind of priority applied to RLNG is not acceptable. This will also cause a loss to the government exchequer which is not desirable.

“We were told that there is enough LNG available in the system but now all of the sudden SNGPL has shut down the gas supply to CNG stations,” Ghyas Parach said.

It is pertinent to mention here that in September this year Universal Gas Distribution Company (UGDC) had signed an agreement with ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas firm to supply LNG to the CNG sector.

Following the agreement with ExxonMobil UGDC also signed an agreement with Singapore-based firm Trafigura for utilisation of its surplus capacity at the Pakistan Gas Port Limited (PGPL) terminal for supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the transport sector.

However, the Universal Gas Distribution Company (UGDC) is still waiting for the clearance from the government. Around 900 CNG stations of Punjab and Potohar region are using RLNG supply instead of indigenous gas.

Interestingly in October the government had lifted ban on new connections to CNG stations after nine years, and allowed the stations to apply for RLNG supply.