Gas shortage likely from Dec 20 to Jan 21

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ISLAMABAD    –  The country may face gas shortage from for one month (Dec 20 to January 21) during the current winter season as the demand-supply gap may surpass 2 BCFD, it is learnt reliably here.

A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) that was held under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar here approved a proposal of Power Division for ratification of the MoUs signed with the Independent Power Producers (IPPS). 

It was decided that Power Division would continue to pursue agreements, based on these MoUs, through the committee constituted for the purpose.

Cabinet Committee on Energy discussed the summary of Petroleum Division on natural gas load management during winter 2020-21.  While presenting the natural gas demand-supply situation for the winter, the committee was informed that domestic and export-oriented industrial sectors would face no disruption during the winter. CCOE directed the ministry to ensure prioritising the residential and industrial demand during winter months, without any curtailment of load.

The committee was informed that from December 20 2020 to January 21 2020 the country may face severe gas shortage, a source told the scribe. The total supply of gas (local gas plus RLNG) during the winter season will be around 4.5 BCFD while the demand will be ranging between 6 to 6.5 BCFD, the source said. There will be around 2 BCFD deficits in supply of gas, the source said. It is worth to mention here that the SAPM on Petroleum had earlier said that this year there will be no gas shortage in the country, however low pressure problem will persist in winter season.

Petroleum Division presented the mitigation measures for arranging additional gas for the season. Furthermore, an optimum utilisation plan for RLNG was also presented. 

CCOE also directed Petroleum Division to present energy efficiency programme for domestic natural gas appliances. It also directed Petroleum Division to check gas theft through illegal use of compressors in the residential and commercial sectors. 

CCOE also approved a proposal of Power Division for ratification of the MoUs signed with the Independent Power Producers (IPPS). Power Division will continue to pursue agreements, based on these MoUs, through the committee constituted for this purpose.

The committee was further informed that there was around 130000 metric tonnes surplus gas would be available in the country. However the ministry of Industries and Production wants to take the surplus gas to 200000 metric tonnes. For the purpose SNGPL was requested not to shut the supply of gas to two fertiliser plants in Punjab for 15 days. In 15 days both the plants can produce up to 35000 metric tonnes of Urea, said the source. The source said that based on available data, indigenous gas-based manufacturers were expected to close the year with an inventory of around 400,000 tonnes of urea. Additionally, the dealers would also have up to 320,000 tonnes of stocks against a historical average of 150,000 – 200,000 tons. Average demand this year expected to remain around 5.9 million tonnes.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries, and Investment and officials from various divisions. 

 

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