Third LNG Terminal at Port Qasim Will Solve Pakistan’s Gas Shortage: SSGCL Director

The Managing Director of the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited, Imran Maniar, has stated that the third liquefied natural gas terminal at Port Qasim will resolve the Pakistani industries’ gas supply shortages within a year or two.

He announced at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the terminal will help to boost the supply of gas to the industries but the issues and challenges will remain.

Maniar explained that 4,000 million cubic feet per day of gas, including indigenous gas and regasified liquefied natural gas, is being used all over Pakistan. The Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) receives about 950 mmcfd of it from indigenous resources in Sindh and Balochistan, and the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited receives the rest.

He added that the SSGCL draws 110 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) from resources in Balochistan while 75 percent of the gas comes from gas reserves in Sindh.

Maniar also warned that these resources are drying out at an accelerated pace, at a rate of 10 percent per year.

The SSGCL takes about 150 to 180 mmcfd of regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) from Port Qasim’s two LNG terminals. However, the supply drops to about 70 to 80 mmcfd in the winter even as the demand for gas in Balochistan shoots up to 120 mmcfd. This creates a significant shortage of 195 mmcfd.

The government deals with these shortages by categorizing and prioritizing different types of consumers. Domestic consumers are prioritized the most, followed by the export-focused industries and non-export industries, with CNG stations last on the list.

Maniar added that the RLNG supplies to K-Electric are slashed to nil, which helps to reduce gas shortages by 75 to 80 mmcfd. Similarly, the suspension of gas to the CNG stations saves another 20 mmcfd. Together, these mechanisms reduce the gas shortage by 95 mmcfd out of a total shortfall of 195 mmcfd.

The Chairman of Businessman Group, Zubair Motiwala, said that the primary issue that gas consumers face is low pressure in Karachi’s industrial zones, which results in issues in both local production and exports.

He pointed out that the data on the consumption of gas in the last decade shows that the consumption by industries had not exceeded 400 mmcfd. The demand of the industries remains the same in the winters, which means that the rise in the demand in the winters is solely due to a boost in domestic consumption.

Yet, despite not contributing to the inflation in demand, industries continue to suffer the most due to the dearth of gas in the winter.

Separately, the SSGCL announced that it is resuming the supply of RLNG from Engro’s LNG terminal after the end of its dry docking period.

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