Punjab industries, CNG stations to get gas from Monday

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LAHORE: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has announced that manufacturing units and compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in Punjab will start receiving gas for two days a week from coming Monday. Speaking at a press conference at his office here on Friday, SNGPL Managing Director Arif Hameed revealed that the company had referred cases of unregistered consumers to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) for recovering penalties worth Rs4.5 billion. However, Ogra has yet to recover any amount, leading to financial losses for SNGPL.

According to the plan, region-II of Punjab, comprising Lahore, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Sahiwal and Multan, will receive gas on Wednesday and Thursday every week. Region-I including Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Sargodha will get gas on Monday and Tuesday.

SNGPL had stopped gas supply to the CNG and industrial sectors in winter following an increase in shortfall and to ensure uninterrupted supply to household consumers.

In January, the gap between demand and supply of gas was 1.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), but it has gradually come down to 900 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd). There are hopes that the gap will further shrink to 400 mmcfd in March when weather gets warmer.

According to Hameed, 110 mmcfd will be added to the system from Kohat district by December, which will be directed to the Faisalabad region.

Of the total supply of 1.8 to 1.85 bcfd, he said, SNGPL got 1.6 bcfd and the rest was directly supplied to big sectors like fertiliser.

Discussing the company’s share in gas import from Iran, he said it would get 65% of the gas, which would help minimise the deficit.

He admitted that the company, which serves 4.2 million consumers and operates pipelines spread over 88,000 kms, lost around 10% of gas, including measurement error of 3%, leakage 4% and theft 3.5%. To discuss company accounts, the board of directors will meet on February 13.

In an attempt to curb gas theft, the company’s teams conduct raids on tip-offs with the assistance of law enforcing agencies in Punjab.

Hameed clarified that tariff cannot be calculated on the basis of area of residences and was charged on the basis of consumption – the more a consumer consumes the more he has to pay.

He said 838 CNG station owners had won stay orders from courts in order to continue gas sales, which was against the load management programme. Later, SNGPL got 604 stay orders vacated and initiated action against those who sold gas during outages.

“It is the duty of SNGPL to register criminal cases and calculate fines, but the responsibility of recovering the amount rests with Ogra (under sub-rule 29 of OGRA Rules),” he said, referring to the penalties of Rs4.5 billion slapped on unregistered consumers.

About ongoing recruitments, Hameed made it clear that the company had received a letter from the Election Commission of Pakistan for stopping hiring, but not the process, therefore, it was conducting interviews and written tests.

However, appointment letters will not be issued to selected candidates until a directive comes from the ECP. The company has also sought guidance from the ECP through a letter as the recruitment process is in final stages.


Courtesy: Tribune

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