Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has said disruption in gas supplies to Karachi-based industries was inflicting an estimated loss of $44 million to the national exports on a daily basis.
The KCCI and its affiliated industrial town associations said gas supply disruptions since June 11, 2021 have crippled industries and halted production.
KCCI spokesman said the supply of gas has been closed in the name of annual turnaround (ATA) of Kunnar Pasaki field. Previously, such disruption was caused due to ATA of Gambat field. All such ATA / maintenance should be planned at least six months ahead, and all concerned should be intimated promptly, he said.
If SSGC as per its claim was facing gas shortfall of 200-250mmcfd from Kunnar-Pasakhi Deep (KPD) gas field and Engro Terminal, the shortfall could have been surmounted through RLNG for the time being.
However, instead of doing so, they announced abrupt suspension of gas supplies to industries.
The chamber spokesman said that the ATA should have been done during Eid holidays, when there was no industrial usage, instead of during working days.
KCCI appealed Prime Minister Imran Khan to stop the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) from suspending gas supply and also to order an inquiry against the massive gas mismanagement.
He wondered why such incidences happened repeatedly only in Karachi every three-four months. “Whether such attempts on part of the government are deliberate to compel the industries of Karachi to shift abroad?” he asked. “Why should the export industries of Karachi bear the brunt of the mismanagement caused due to ill-planning on part of the Ministry of Petroleum and SSGC?”
Government has accorded priority to the export sector in terms of gas supply, nevertheless the export industries of Karachi were deprived of gas.
More than 40 allied industries, including general industry, were associated with the export industries. Due to the situation, even if 10 percent export was affected, it means five percent decline in national exports, the spokesman said, adding that the estimated losses caused to national exports on daily basis come to around $44 million (Rs7 billion).
Further, exporters fear excessive delays in export shipments, which would either result in shipment by air or cancellation of orders.
KCCI appealed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan and Federal Minister of Energy to take immediate notice of zero pressure of gas to industries of Karachi and intervene to resume the supply as quickly as possible to save the industries, exports and foreign exchange earnings.