ISLAMABAD: According to well-informed sources, the government has agreed in principle to give gas to those textile facilities that cannot function without it. Shaukat Tarin, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, presided over an internal meeting that made the decision.
The meeting was also attended by Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar, Minister of Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtyar, and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood.
The sources said it was decided in the meeting that a list of those textile units be sought from the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), which cannot operate without gas.
The sources said, presently, there are 126 textile units, which are neither being supplied full electricity for operation nor gas for processing. Insiders claim that the gas companies were supplying gas to about 1,800 units, which does not fall in the category of export-oriented units.
Now, gas to some of them will be curtailed or disconnected to accommodate eligible textile units.
The SNGPL is currently supplying up to 70 Mmcfd to the non-export processing industry including steel, ceramics, and glass. This is not comprehensible as all along the export sectors were to be given priority given the extreme economic urgency of supporting the Balance of Payments.
The total consumption of captive and co-generation was 180 to 200 mmcfd and 160 mmcfd just before 15th December 2021.
The SNGPL and the Aptma agreed that 75 mmcfd gas will be provided for the winter months, which is about 35 percent of gas load, which is absolutely essential to maintain production without any thought of viability.
Those factories who in the past (prior to 2015) had generated steam from coal or fuel oil have restarted these boilers in order to keep production going and not default on export orders.
Factories that do not have full grid load and are waiting for extension of load. These total 129 cases where the main impediment is load beyond 5 MW. Despite the Nepra having allowed 7.5 MW, not a single load has been extended so far. Electronic sensitive machines that cannot run on grid power. Factories that rely on steam made from generator waste heat recovery boilers (cogeneration) for their dyeing plants/weaving and knitting machines.—MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN