Punjab’s Textile Industry Loses Export Orders Worth Billions

Almost half of the textile export industry in Punjab went under complete shutdown on Thursday after Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) decided to suspend gas supply to the captive power plants (CPPs) amid a severe shortfall in gas reserves.

The SNGPL was forced to make this decision to ensure the provision of uninterrupted gas to the domestic sector whose demand has increased manifold due to the prevailing cold and dry weather in the country.

Speaking in this regard, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Abdul Rahim Nasir, said that more than 200 textile mills have either completely or partially halted production activities after the suspension of gas, causing the industry to lose a large number of export orders worth billions of rupees.

He lamented that nearly 50% of the country’s textile export sector producing raw materials, yarn, clothes, garments, etc. have shut down operations.

Chairman APTMA added that old machines in textile mills cannot operate entirely on electricity because it is extremely difficult to generate steam this way that is used in dying and other processes. Only new machines can operate effectively on electricity but both new and old machines can efficiently perform with CPPs.

When questioned why the textile industry failed to switch operations to electricity, he said that hours-long power shutdown caused by the tripping of 132kV grid stations and transmission lines in industrial hubs due to cold weather and high moisture in the air prevented the industry from doing so.

Chairman APTMA expressed disappointment that the concerned departments are not heeding the requests of textile mill owners for the supply of gas. He called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to intervene, otherwise, the issue could deal a serious blow to the overall growth of the country’s economy.

On the other hand, SNGPL’s spokesperson has refuted the claims of APTMA and clarified that 1,900 out of 2,300 textile mills in Punjab are being provided uninterrupted gas supply. The gas supply has been suspended to only 400 mills operating on CPPs.

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