Energy crisis growing rapidly in Pakistan

December 28, 2009 - 0:0

Islamabad(IRNA) -- It is widely believed in Pakistan that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project should be completed at the earliest to overcome energy crisis which Pakistan is currently facing.

The unannounced gas loadshedding in the country has put the CNG-run transport in troubled waters as well as taking toll on industry and other business activities, not to mention the hardships faced by domestic users.
People say that Iran has surplus gas and the completion of gas pipeline project is the only way out for Pakistan to overcome gas shortage.
Pakistan’s energy crisis is feared to worsen next year with the gas shortfall likely to almost double to more than two billion cubic feet a day (BCFD).
Official figures suggested that the shortage, which stood at about one BCFD this winter, would go up to 2.1 BCFD by next year.
The demand and supply estimates presented by the Interstate Gas Company — a subsidiary of the petroleum ministry — suggested that the gas shortfalls would increase by more than 300 per cent to 6.5 BCFD by 2020.
According to official estimates, domestic gas demand would increase to 6.8 BCFD in 2011, about 7.1 BCFD in 2012 and to7.6 BCFD in 2015.
The gas shortage has forced a number of industrial units to close down while delay in fulfillment of export consignments has become a matter of routine due to less supply and low pressure of natural gas.
Moreover, it has been reported that in small cities and towns of the country, the commodity continues to disappear for hours without prior intimation, thus badly affecting the domestic users as well as the public and private transport running on CNG.
Meanwhile, the government has already announced “Gas Load Management Plan” under which CNG stations would remain closed for eight days a month on rotational basis in the zones served by the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL).
The gas load management plan would continue until March 15, 2010.
The company expects to save and divert 25 million cubic feet of gas per day from the sector through the plan.
Gas shortage in the winters is not a new phenomenon. Natural gas is the prime source of fuel used by domestic consumers.
In the present situation when there is six- to eight-hour power loadshedding, gas shortage is hampering the growth of industries, which would affect the growth of overall exports of the country.
Similarly, domestic consumers throughout the country are also facing problems due to the long hours gas loadshedding and they are forced to use woods for cooking food and other uses.