Domestic sector to get gas thrice a day for essential needs only

Govt, gas utilities to run campaigns on conservation of gas, promotion of cheaper incentivised electricity

LAHORE: The government is going to provide gas to the residential sector only three times a day with the ‘bare minimum supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG)’ during December through March to minimise gas shortages in the country, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar on informed the Senate on Friday.

The minister said that gas domestic reserves were fast depleting and the gas prices had not been increased since 2019.

A report by a local media outlet claims that this is part of the Gas Load Management Plan for winter 2021-22 presented to the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) at a meeting presided over by Minister for Planning and Develop­ment Asad Umar.

“Gas to residential sector shall be provided three times a day for cooking only,” the meeting was informed by the Petroleum Divi­sion, adding that “RLNG diversion [to domestic consumers] to be made bare minimum keeping in view the operational stability of the system”.

The meeting was informed that gas supply to dedicated consumers — power and fertiliser sectors — on independent system outside the national pipeline network was expected to remain stable without any unforeseen eventuality.

Moreover, extensive media campaigns would be run by the gas companies and the government for conservation of gas and promotion of cheaper incentivised electricity for water and space heating.

While responding to a calling attention notice raised by Senators Sherry Rehman and Saleem Mandviwalla about ongoing crisis in the gas supply to consumers, Azhar said that around 70 per cent gas demand was being met through domestic reserves while remaining 30 per cent was fulfilled through import. “Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) was very expansive as compared to the local gas,” he added.

Speaking in the House, Sherry Rehman said that Sindh was producing 70 per cent gas but the facility was not provided to the people of the province.

The minister answered that Sindh’s share in total gas production was 38 per cent, while Balochistan’s share stood at 40 per cent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) contributed 12 per cent and Punjab 8 to 9 per cent.

He categorically refuted the news item that gas would be available for only three days in a week.

Regarding the Pakistan-Iran Gas Pipeline Project, he informed that the project was delayed due to international sanctions on Iran. “Negotiation with Russia over the North-South Pipeline Project; however, is underway,” he added.

The minister said two more LNG terminals were being set up but they were purely based on business to business model and the government would not pay its rent.

“One terminal was being set up of Japanese company Mitsubishi and other was a local consortium with the assistance of Qatar,” he said.


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