The shortage of gas supply to the industrial zone in Sindh has slowed down the production of the manufacturing units, posing serious threats to companies in meeting their exports targets.
Among the exporting units, textile sector is the foremost sector this year which made a major contribution towards enhanced exports of the country. It recorded significant growth after a decade of lackluster output.
The textile industry units located in the province are mostly export-oriented and these units attract priority in the allocation of energy, including gas supply. As this is the peak season and any disturbance or short supply of gas will affect the timely shipments of export commitments resulting in not only a decline in export earnings and loss of foreign buyers of textile products but will also result in a decline in the production and revenue for the government.
The by 50% reduction in gas supply to Sindh and Balochistan based industry, that makes about 52 percent of the country’s total exports, is resulting in loss of foreign exchange and revenue, claimed Zahid Mazhar, Chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Sindh-Baluchistan Region.
The production of export-oriented industries has shrunk since the export sector has been compelled to work on 50% capacity. In other countries, governments give priority to their export-oriented industry for the supply of gas and energy, whereas domestic and commercial sectors are provided with LPG or LNG. On the contrary, in Pakistan, natural gas is being supplied to domestic and commercial sectors at the cost of industries, he added.
He demanded that the government restore full supply of gas to the industries located in Sindh and Balochistan as the industries in these provinces can’t operate and fulfill their export commitments at 50 percent supply.
He said that the curtailment in gas supply in addition to low gas pressure has completely disturbed the production-lines, resulting in a decline in exports and causing damages to the industry’s costly plants and equipment.
He further said that curtailment in gas supply is against the assurance given by the present government of continuous and uninterrupted supply of energy especially to the export-oriented industry like textiles which is earning more than sixty percent of the much needed foreign exchange through exports. It is also against the government policy of industrialization and export-led growth, he added.
SSGC Stance Over Gas Shortage
Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) said that the company is currently working on completing two gas pipelines that will help mitigate the current gas demand-supply gap in Sindh and particularly in its largest load center, Karachi.
The company is presently working on completing 12” dia x 46 km line that will bring in an additional 40 MMCFD gas to add on to the 35 MMCFD gas already in the system. The second pipeline, the 8” dia. x 28 km line will inject 23 MMCFD gas into SSGC’s system.
It must be mentioned here that the 12” dia. x 48 km line will be commissioned by the 1st week of January 2020 and the 8” dia. x 28 km line will come online by the 3rd week of January 2020.
With the commissioning of these two lines, around 65 MMCFD gas will be made available in SSGC’s system which will substantially help to bridge the demand-supply gap that the customers are confronted with in this winter season. SSGC will thus be in a better position to prevent the inconvenience faced by its customers, during the bitterly cold weather in both Sindh and Balochistan.