ISLAMABAD ( JAVED MAHMOOD )
The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) has thrown away a plan to provide gas to domestic consumers three times a day from Dec 1 to Feb 2022.
In its previous meeting, the CCoE discussed a proposal of providing gas to domestic users three times a day for cooking meals, nevertheless, this plan has been abandoned in recent meeting of the committee following a backlash from opposition and general public.
Federal Minister Asad Umar clarified that the CCoE only stressed the need for providing gas to domestic consumers three times a day for cooking and the committee did not recommend suspension of gas for the remaining time of the day. During the meeting the Petroleum Division presented presented a detailed impact analysis of different policy options for the management of gas demand during the winter 2021-22. The Petroleum Division said the increase in demand of domestic consumers would be met through reduction in gas supply to captive power generation units in the country.
Meanwhile, gas supply to CNG stations would be reduced in this winter for better gas load management. Industrial activity would be in focus in the gas management plan, especially the export industry.
It was further directed that the CCoE would consider the supply side proposals in the next meeting. The cabinet body on industry suggested providing gas to the general industry on a rotational basis.
However, it further said that gas utilities could suspend gas supply to the general industry in case of an increase in demand.
Officials said that a meeting would be held with the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association to convince members of the association to reduce dependence on gas during winter season.
Power plants on the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) network would be provided RLNG as per the actual consumption of the winter of the financial year 2021 with 5% more supplies.
Any gas saved from captive power plants because of switching to power grid would be supplied to the export industry. During the meeting, it was informed that indigenous gas reservoirs of the country were depleting fast and their availability in future might not be sustainable.
It was further informed that after meeting the demand of domestic users, power sector, fertiliser plants and the export industry, there was hardly any supply left for the rest of the consumers.
The CCoE also considered the summary presented by the Maritime Affairs Division on the construction of an oil storage area in Keamari, Karachi.
The meeting was informed that insufficient storage infrastructure at the ports created a bottleneck in the supply chain and resulted in increased costs.
To compressively review the situation and available options, the CCoE formed a sub-committee under SAPM on CPEC Khalid Mansoor. They body included the member of the Energy Planning Commission as well the petroleum and power secretaries. The sub-committee will submit its proposals to the CCoE within two weeks.
The committee also reviewed the monthly report submitted by the Power Division on the out-of-merit power plant operations due to network constraints. The committee was assured that a constraint removal plan for the encountered issues was already under implementation.