Wednesday, October 4, 2017

MPs lament non-provision of gas to Balochistan

Installation of LPG-air mix plants in province very slow, 5,407MW additional power to be added to system by June 2018, Senate body told

ISLAMABAD - Senate Committee on Energy on Wednesday lamented the non-provision of gas to Balochistan.

During the meeting of the Senate Committee on Energy, which was chaired by Senator Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri, Senator Yousaf Badini said that even Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, is not getting gas completely. Senator Zehri showed concern over the non-provision of gas to the majority districts of Balochistan and said that the committee is continuously recommending the installation of LPG-air mix plants in the Balochistan but the implementation is very slow. He offered his personal land for the installation of LPG-air mix plants and said that now the directives should be implemented in letter and spirit.

Senator Yousaf Baluch said that the residents of the gas producing province are not receiving gas. He said that there is no electricity to run the energy mix plants; therefore, generator is required for the operation of these plants. Senator Yousaf Badini said that denying gas to the resident of the gas producing province is causing a sense of deprivation among the local population.

Minister of State for Petroleum Jam Kamal Khan apprised the committee that the government was encouraging setting up of more Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)-air mix plants in selected areas where natural gas supply did not exist. He said that Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) would set up 10 LPG-air mix plants in its operation area during the current fiscal year. The minister sought suggestions and site identification from parliamentarians, who desired gasification of the towns in far flung and hilly areas.

The SSGCL managing director briefed the body that currently the company had managed finances for 10 LPG units and it was in the process of floating tender for them. Jam Kamal said the company was facing problems in acquiring land due to high prices in Balochistan for the LPG plants as four to five acre land was required for a single plant in the closest vicinity of the town where the commodity would be supplied.

The committee was also apprised that two state companies, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), would establish around 65 LPG-air mix plants, out of which 30 would be in Balochistan, two each in Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan, 10 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 18 in Punjab.

Earlier, officials from the Petroleum Division briefed the committee on budgetary allocation and its bi-annual utilisation for the period of January-June 2017, by the the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. The body also took up a petition of four SSGCL's contractual employees, whose services were terminated after they could not pass the NTS (National Testing Service) test. The committee members asked the SSGCL administration to look into ways and means for amicable and legal solution of the issue.

APP adds: Meanwhile, Minister of State for Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali Wednesday said around 5,407MW additional electricity would be added in the national distribution system by June 2018.

"From June 2013 to June 2017, as many as 6,107 MW electricity has been added in the system, while 5,405 MW more will arrive during a period from June 2017 to June 2018," he informed the Senate Standing Committee on Energy.

Earlier, the committee meeting, chaired by Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri, was briefed on the Power Division's overall working and performance by the officials concerned.

Giving power generation and shortfall comparison, the officials said in June 2013 average generation of electricity was 11,804 MW with average shortfall of 7,938 MW, almost 67 percent shortfall of generation, and load-shedding of 10-12 hours was being observed every day.

While, in June 2017, average power generation reached 18,658 MW with average shortfall of 2,888 MW, almost 15.5 percent shortfall of generation, and loadshedding was observed only for 3-4 hours in high line losses areas.

They also informed the committee that recovery percentage of 10 power distribution companies had also improved from 89.58 percent in 2013 to 94.09 percent in 2017.

The officials said in 2013 the power distribution companies were facing constraints on 102 grid stations, 298 on power transformers and 137 on transmission lines, whereas in 2017 the number of grid station constraints had reduced to 10, at power transformers to 29 and at transmission lines to 27 only.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Senators Baz Muhammad Khan, Mir Muhammad Yousaf Badini, Taj Muhammad Afridi,Hamza, Nisar Muhammad and Muhammad Yousaf, besides Minister of State for Power Division Abid Sher Ali, secretaries, Director General Geological Survey of Pakistan and officials of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority

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