Loadshedding: up to 40mmcfd gas being diverted to power sector in summer

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The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources is to divert up to 40 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) gas to power sector in the summer months, it is learnt.

According to Petroleum Ministry officials, the government is considering diverting gas to the power sector to reduce loadshedding in summer given that the Ministry does not have sufficient funds to ensure supply of furnace oil to generating companies.

Pakistan State Oil continues to suffer liquidity problems attributed to inter-circular debt which has compelled it to seek government injections for meeting its L/C financial obligations. The Ministry of Finance has however indicated that it does not have the resources to provide the necessary injections to the Ministry of Finance for onward transmission to PSO.

Sources added that due to continued law and order problems in Balochistan, which accounted for periodic blowing up of gas pipelines by insurgents, the Ministry had been unable to initiate additional gas supply to power sector. The government has dedicated a total 429 mmcfd gas to captive power plants, which are producing around 1,300 megawatts of electricity, which is far below the efficient power generation capacity; 430 mmcfd gas, if allocated to efficient power plants, could produce approximately 2,600 megawatts of power. Both SSGC and SNGPL are supplying a total 550 mmcfd gas to power houses.

Currently the Sui-Northern Gas Pipelines Limited is providing 300 mmcfd of gas to Captive Power Plants and 350 mmcfd to other powerhouses. The power generation efficiency/capacity of captive power plants is far below the target as these power plants are producing a total of 900 megawatts of electricity by consuming 300 mmcfd gas; however efficient use of 300 mmcfd gas could produce 1,800 megawatts of electricity, officials added. The current duration of power loadshedding could easily be reduced by two hours if gas was allocated to efficiently-run power plants, the official added.

On the system, Sui-Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) is supplying around 200 mmcfd gas to power houses of which 135 mmcfd is to Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation (KESC), 24 mmcfd to Habibullah Coastal Power Plant Balochistan, 14 mmcfd to Kotri Power Plant and 20 mmcfd to Jamshro Power Plant. SSGC is supplying around 129 mmcfd gas to captive power plants of which 43 mmcfd is to textile industry based captive power plants and 86 mmcfd to captive power general power plants.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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