ISLAMABAD - The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority yesterday announced 38.29 percent decrease in the gas prices for fertilizer sector, but increased the gas rates by 2.16 percent for power generation plants.

According to the Ogra notification, the decision of decreasing the gas price for fertilizer sector was taken following the recommendation of the federal government. The authority further said the new gas prices would be effective from April 1, 2016.

According to the notification, the price of gas for the state-run and private sector power plants had been increased by Rs 13 per million metric British thermal unit (MMBTU) which would be passed on to the power consumers on account of hike in energy cost. The new gas tariff for power sector has been set at Rs 613 per MMBTU, registering an increase of Rs 13 per MMBTU.

However, the authority notified reduction in the prices of gas being used as feed stock for fertilizer sector by Rs 76.59 per MMBTU following recommendations of the federal government. The new gas price for fertilizer sector will be Rs 123.41 per unit after reduction of Rs 76.59 per MMBTU.

The officials of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority said that new tariff for domestic and commercial consumers would be announced in July 2016.

On Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), the new gas price for fertilizer sector had been announced for Dawood, Pakarab Fertilizer Limited, Pak-China Fertilizer Limited and Hazara Phosphate Fertilizer Plant. On Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) system, gas price has been announced for Fauji Fertilizer bin Qasim Limited and Engro Fertilizer Company on the system of Mari Petroleum Company Limited. The gas prices for thermal power plants, producing electricity by using gas, had been set at Rs 600 per MMBTU.

According to a government official, gas price for fertilizer sector has been reduced to provide relief to the farmers. The official said it would result in reduction of input cost for farming sector, provide relief to local farmers and make Pakistani produce more compatible internationally. Following this cut, fertilizer sector would have to pass on relief to the consumers.

The official said gas prices for power sector were already low, so its price had been increased. The increase in gas prices for power plants would result in increasing the cost of electricity generation. The increase in electricity prices would be recovered from consumers on account of monthly fuel adjustment, the official added. The consumers were already enjoying relief on account of major reduction in electricity prices because of fuel adjustment, the official stated.

Meanwhile, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) announced a power tariff for 747MW Guddu power plant. The regulator approved Rs 6.16 per unit tariff for power generation through gas source and Rs 9.55 per unit for power generation through high speed diesel (HSD).The regulator also approved total cost of the project at Rs 74.5 billion instead of Rs 79 billion.