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Efforts on to ensure gas supply in winter

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Managing Director Arif Hameed has said that all efforts are being made to ensure gas supply to industries during severe winter but so much depends on acceptance of a proposal by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for regulating supply to domestic consumers.

Speaking to members of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) here on Tuesday, the SNGPL MD said the Punjab industries, which have gas-powered generators, had been operating round the clock for the past three months because of staggered gas supply for 10 hours a day during power outages.

He said the situation was different during winter when domestic demand was higher than the gas available with the company. He said the department was trying its best to manage supplies in a way that the demand of industries could also be met.

“Much will depend on the severity of weather this season,” he said, adding domestic and commercial consumers were at present the priority of the gas distribution company.

Various proposals were being discussed at departmental and ministerial levels to spare some gas for the industries, he said.

One proposal is to provide gas to domestic consumers during peak cooking hours. This way, gas can be supplied to them for two hours in the morning from 6am to 8am and then for two to three hours in the afternoon and finally for four hours in the evening.

After that, gas could be diverted to other sectors including industry. However, final decision would come from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, he said.

Hameed said SNGPL was currently getting 1,700 millions of cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd), which barely met demand during the summer.

In summer, some of the gas received from the north is saved for consumption in Punjab. However, in winter the consumers of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have the first right to consume and gas may not be available for consumers in Punjab, he said.

Earlier, Aptma Punjab Chairman SM Tanveer praised SNGPL for smooth supply of promised gas to the industries that enabled textile mills to exploit their full export potential.

He expressed the hope that this cooperation would continue in winter as well because failure in this regard would badly hurt exports and nullify the advantage after the grant of European Union’s GSP Plus status in 2014.

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