Islamabad - Federal Minister for Energy Omer Ayub Thursday alleged Sindh government for backing K Electric and said that Member Nepra from Sindh had played a key role in reducing fine imposed on the company by the regulator.

Personalities from the Sindh government have family connections in KE and they are backing the company, the Federal Minister for Energy Omer Ayub said while addressing a Press conference along with special assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar here.

In reply to a query regarding loss of human lives due to electrocution of KE system in Karachi during rains, he said that that the government of Pakistan is only 25 percent shareholder in the company while majority shareholders were from private sector. He said that the KE was required to make investment in they system.

NEPRA is regulator and it imposed fine on KE. Personalities from the Sindh government have family connections in KE and Member Nepra from Sindh had played a key role in reducing fine, he said. Other members NERPA wanted to impose heavy fine on KE for the electrocution, he added.He said that the gas shortage in Karachi is 250 mmcfd but have been reduced to 150 mmcfd as they are providing 100 mmcfd RLNG to KE.

Omer Ayub Khan once again accused Sindh government for worsening gas crisis in Karachi saying that are on cooperating in the provision of the right of way to build pipeline from Port Qasim to Park Lane.He said that the total length of the pipeline is 17 KM. Some land is from private owners while a small portions belongs to government of Sindh, he added.

The energy minister said that now the matter had gone beyond article 158 of the constitution that gives right to the gas producing provinces the right if first use of gas it produces. A gas conference was held in PM office following recommendation of Council of Common Interests to build consensus on weighted average gas prices, he said. He said that circular debt in gas sector had jumped up to Rs 250 billion due to absence of weighted average price.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar warned that if the Sindh government didn’t provide the right of way immediately there the gas shortage in the SSGC system will increase from current 250 mmcfd to 400 mmcfd in the coming days that would affect all the sectors including industry and domestic consumers.

There will be no option other than rationing of gas for different sectors in Karachi, he said and however added that domestic sector would be given priority in providing gas during three times cooking hours.

He said that SNGPL would also be facing a gas shortage of 300-350 mmcfd in peak winter season and therefore there would be no possibility of diverting LNG to SSGCL system.

Mobilization has already been made and 12 KM of total 17 KM land for the pipleline has been acquired by the SSGC and if Sindh government cooperates in giving right of way for the remaining 5 KM which belongs to government of Sindh, work on the pipeline will be completed by end of this December, he said. Currently that two LNG terminals were handling 1.2 bcfd LNG that would be enhanced to 1.3 bcfd gas after completion of pipeline, he added.

He said that Sindh province was not ready to consume LNG adding that weighted average gas price was only option.

He said that the incumbent government had conducted auction of ten blocks and now planned to announce auction of 20 blocks in first week of October. He said that annual depletion of raw gas was 9.5 per cent and it comes to 5.5 per cent after induction of new discovery of gas.

He said that 26 discoveries of gas had been made during the last 24 months to add 245 mmcfd in the system, while depletion during this time was 400 mmcfd.

In reply to a query about GIDC, Nadeem Babar said that four parties including APTAMA, CNG, fertilizer had filed a review petition in the Supreme Court. He said that APTAMA had obtained stay order from Lahore Court on calculation of GIDC. He further said that SNGPL and SSGC had included the first installment amount of GIDC in bills of September. The GIDC will be recovered in 24 installments, he added.