Lahore, December 31, 2012 (PPI-OT): Pakistan will have first LNG terminal within two months while mega projects will take another six month to come on line. This was stated by the Managing Director SNGPL Arif Hameed while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, former Presidents Mian Anjum Nisar, Mian Muzaffar Ali and a number of other industrialists also spoke on the occasion while LCCI former presidents raised various genuine complaints of technical nature. The MD said that the SNGPL was endeavouring to bridge the ever-increasing gap between the availability and the consumption of gas to mitigate the sufferings of consumers in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and other areas of company’s jurisdiction.
He said that the ongoing augmentation of the system would help plug the over and underground line losses which according to him, have already been brought down significantly. Arif Hameed said that SNGPL was also working on the LPG plant and added that this environment friendly gas would be marketed by the company soon.
He said that efforts for the exploration of tight gas in Punjab were underway and hoped that the availability of this gas would help overcome energy crisis in the country. He said that SNGPL was launching ‘solar geyser’ programme to help decrease the dependence of the heating equipments on natural. The geysers would be provided to the consumers on subsidized prices. The prices of the equipment would be recovered from the consumers in two-year instalments.
He said that Inter-State Gas System Company was exclusively working for the execution of the Pak-Iran Gas Pipelines Project. For this, tenders have been floated. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that business community is experiencing plight of their businesses due to acute shortage of gas supplies. He said that from the start of the winter season till to-date, the industry has experienced worst ever scenario under gas load management.
Farooq Iftikhar said that the gas reserves in Pakistan are depleting and to meet the future demand of gas, new reserves have to be explored. He said that gas shortfall is estimated to reach 2.5 BCFD in 2014-15, 3 BCFD in 2015-16 and 3.5 BCFD in 2016-17. Hence, the gap is likely to shoot up to 5 BCFD in 2020-21, unless major gas discoveries and field developments are made.
He said that the current gap in gas supply and demand has already gone up to 1.1 BCFD which is expected to further widen during the month of January. This situation will cause more problems for the industry. He urged the SNGPL to be very careful while expanding its system considering the increasing gap of gas supply and demand. Moreover, the priorities of SNGPL need to be reset particularly giving the industry its due share to continue their production operations.
He said that non-existence of CNG quota has resulted Pakistan to top the CNG population of vehicles against the ranking at 24th in gas production worldwide. In 2000, CNG’s share in gas consumption was 4% which has now increased to 11.85%. He said that the textile industry is facing the real brunt of gas shortage especially in Punjab which houses 80% industrial units related to this sector. Closure of power for over a month to this sector will only result in lay-off of over 15 million people and putting exports of $14 billion at stake.
He said that in addition to losing US$ 25 million a day due to energy crisis textile mills are facing an acute liquidity crunch with every passing day because of export orders cancellation. He said that at present, a lot of infrastructure development work is going on in Lahore. It has been observed that gas load management is done without announcing any schedule in prior. It simply adds to the problems of industry.
Farooq Iftikhar said that LCCI members have also complained about the rigid behaviour of the staff of SNGPL with regard to imposing penalties unilaterally. Without serving any show-cause-notice to the clients, their meters are disconnected for lab testing. He said that the concerned clients should be informed before taking any action and there should be third party testing or inspection. Similarly, the right to appeal has to be provided.
He said that despite making number of complaints about low gas pressure, there are still many industries especially those which are supposed to perform continuous process are suffering to a great extent. Their whole lot/batch often gets wasted and they remain under this constant fear while making production. He urged the SNGPL authorities to initiate a media campaign to educate public how to conserve the gas. Use of solar geysers should be encouraged by offering at subsidized prices to general public.
He said that gas used in the steam units should be diverted to combined-cycle plants that operate at an efficiency of 48% as compared with almost 30% for the existing steam units. He said that the prices of LNG must be brought down to provide alternate fuel to the general public. Likewise, more and more LNG filling stations must be introduced as this would help in reducing the demand for natural gas to some extent.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854