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Hammad Azhar gives hope amidst RLNG crisis

The Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar went to Twitter to give an update on the LNG crisis saying that 40% regasification of RLNG from the replacement ship has been achieved 2 days ahead of schedule, and 70 percent of the supply would be restored by 3rd July.

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Everyone in Pakistan, from one source or the other, has heard by now realized the ongoing national gas crisis, and the ongoing dry docking on Karachi terminals.

The Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar went to Twitter to give an update on the issue. He said, 40% regasification of RLNG from the replacement ship has been achieved 2 days ahead of schedule.

He further said that the authorities are targeting 70% restoration of RLNG supply by tomorrow InshAllah, ie 3rd July.

The ongoing RLNG crisis and related events have been the source of debate at many national platforms, including the recent hot debate between the minister of energy and the former finance minister.

RLNG is deemed a cheaper alternative to furnace oil to run power plants, and Pakistan only entered this market very late in 2015, and now there are two terminals on Karachi port.

This means that the ongoing dry docking on the Karachi ports is impacting a very large sector of the economy, including the industrial sector of Pakistan. This is why the government has been taking heavy criticism.

This caused problem as according to national media, the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) stopped supplies to CNG till July 5 in view of the lingering shortfall of 160 mmcfd due to the annual turnaround of the Kunnar Pasakhi Deep (KPD) gas field.

This has caused a decline in gas availability and resulting in depletion of line pack and low pressure in the system.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) had also completely stopped gas supply to three sectors — cement, CNG (compressed natural gas) stations, and non-export industry — in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa till July 5 due to dry docking of the LNG terminal.

However, this tweet by the energy minister is optimistic for the industrial sector impacted by the RLNG shortage.

In the recent debate, Hammad Azhar explained the crisis in detail.

He said that the current SSGC(Sui Southern Gas Company) supply cuts have nothing to do with the drydocking, and the supply cut had to be done in summers, otherwise the loss would have increased due to domestic load in the winter season.

Read More: Pakistan secures $4.5bn ITFC financing for LNG, Oil imports

The minister told Former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail that the Kunar Pasakhi Deep (KPD) gas field would be brought online on 29th June and drydocking would not impact the SSGC supply as the total SSGC system is based on 1150 MMCFT and only 75 MMCFT is impacted by the drydocking.

The energy minister said that two of the LNG terminals are impacted due to NAB cases and the ongoing international litigation. Similarly, the Bureau Veritas, international testing, inspection, and certification organization has disallowed the government to operate FSRU post 30th June, or it would be a violation of international law. This dry-docking has to be done twice in 15 years, Mr. Azhar claimed.

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