Industrialists raise alarm over gas supply cut

Say Pakistan may lose export orders to India, Bangladesh 

By: News Desk      Published: 05:05 PM, 27 Jan, 2021
Industrialists raise alarm over gas supply cut
Representative image.

Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE) Association of Industries and Faisalabad industrialists have demanded gas provision for industry while sounding an alarm bell that otherwise India and Bangladesh will get Pakistan’s exports orders, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.

Representatives of hundreds of industrial units in Karachi and Faisalabad have rejected the federal government’s decision to halt gas supply to captive power plants.  

Gas supply to industrial units will be halted from February 1. Gas supply to export industry and power plants will be halted from March 1.

SITE Association of Industries President Abdul Hadi urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure gas supply so that Pakistani industries can timely deliver the export orders.

Separately, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce President Ehtisham Javed has formed a committee to take up the issue with the MD SNGPL on the gas shortage supply to the industries.

Hafiz Ehtisham Javed from FCCI will lead the committee that includes various exporters including Aptpma, Aptma and Apbuma to save the industry from the impending gas crisis.

The committee’s president will brief the Minister of Energy and MD SNGPL on the ground situation and to fully update and inform the government. 

The Faisalabad industries’ representatives vowed to approach the Prime Minister to raise their voice.

It has been argued by the newly formed committee that the industrial sector is not in the condition right now to bear the gas supply cut.

President of Federal-B Area Association Trade Industry Muhammad Ali said the decision to shut down the gas of captive power plants would tantamount to economic murder.

“Expensive electricity cannot be tolerated under any circumstances as K Electric's system has not been able to provide so much electricity in the past as well.”

He said gas supply to captive power plants should be stopped in phases.

An appeal has been made to the Prime Minister to look into the issue of captive power plants immediately, Muhammad Ali further said. 

The federal cabinet decided to halt gas supply to hundreds of industrial units. It was the cabinet committee, which had initially decided to suspend gas supply to captive power plants as part of its efforts to save gas for domestic consumers.

There are 1,211 industries in the country that are using gas to generate electricity, including 610 export industries and 601 non-export industries which are using 415 mmcfd gas to generate electricity, according to the sources.

In the last two years, natural gas production has decreased by 400 mmcfd gas and industries have been given national grid instead of gas.