ISLAMABAD - On the directions of Ministry of Petroleum, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) on Friday announced new gas curtailment plan for the fertilizer, CNG and industrial sectors.

According to this new plan gas supply to fertilizer sector has been curtailed.

“We have suspended gas supply to Agritech and Dawood Hercules and this will save 50 mmcf/d natural gas which will be supplied to power plants”, a SNGPL official told The Nation. According to officials, four major fertilizer companies were supplied gas on alternate basis. These four companies are Dawood Hercules, Agritech, Pak Arab and Fatima Fertilizers.

“According to the new plan we have curtailed gas supply to Agritech and Dawood Hercules, for indefinite period”, official said. He said both these companies were operational and getting natural gas.

Dawood Hercules belongs to prominent Hussain Dawood. Dawood was also Chairman of Engro Corporation Limited, The Hub Power Company Limited, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Karachi Education Initiative (KEI) and The Dawood Foundation.

Pak Arab Fertilizers Limited, and Fatima Fertilizer belong to one of the wealthiest industrialists of the country Arif Habib. According to Arif Habib Corporation website Arif Habib is currently the Chief Executive of Arif Habib Corporation Limited. He is also the Chairman of Pakarab Fertilizers Limited, Fatima Fertilizer Company Limited, and Arif Habib DMCC Dubai. Apart from owning many businesses, Habib is also Director Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Company Limited.  It was learnt that due to his influence his factories were not only getting supply of natural gas but due to his influence Ministry of Petroleum continued gas supply to fertilizer industry at a concessional price. It was learnt that Habib has been promised from Ministry of Petroleum high ups that gas supply to his companies will be restored once the hydel power generation increases.

In another development, gas supply to Kotri power station has been restored. According to NTDC Kotri power station has started adding 100 MW in national grid.

After failure of Ministry of Petroleum’s experimental plan to supply CNG on daily basis, Ministry has devised another experimental plan for the supply of natural gas to CNG stations in Punjab.

According to this new experimental plan CNG would be supplied to gas stations two days in a week for 24 hours per day.

Gas will be provided to CNG stations on Sundays 6 am till Monday 6am. CNG stations will also open from 6am Wednesday to 6am Thursday. This new plan will be affective from Saturday May 10. (Today), and will be applicable to Lahore, Shikhupura, Sahiwal, Multan, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur regions.

In previous plan, Ministry has been supplying natural gas to CNG stations in both regions on daily basis from 10 am to 4am. On Sundays stations remained open from 6am to 12pm. Most of the public reportedly rejected the limited gas supply during working hours and said that it is only beneficial for CNG stations and transporters, not general public, who can’t afford to spend hours in queues during working hours. It was learnt that previous load management plan was devised by the bureaucracy of ministry of Petroleum and its only objective was that Nawaz government could claim that they are providing CNG on daily basis as promised in their political campaign a year back.

It was learnt that this new plan was unable to reduce queues and general public reportedly rejected this plan.

It was learnt that CNG association who has been very actively lobbying for the supply of natural gas on daily basis failed to provide separate queues for commercial and non-commercial vehicles, which also frustrated general public.

According to new plan, for the general Industry, Lahore, Sahiwal and Shiekhupura will get gas from May 9th (6am) to May 11 (6am), whereas Faisalabad, Sargodha, Bahawalpur Multan, Gujranwala, Gujrat Islamabad and Rawalpindi general industry will get gas supply from May13 (6am) to May15 (6am).

It was learnt that in new plan gas supply duration is the same as in previous plan CNG stations were opened for 48 hours a week and in new plan they would also be operational for 48 hours/week.