Minister Petroleum reassures APTMA 4-days a week gas supply plan
Minister Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain has reassured All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) leadership four days a week gas supply during winter and further up-gradation to five days a week once new gas finds are in place during next three months.
The Minister was responding to panicky situation in textile industry in the wake of latest APTMA press ads fearing colossal losses due to likely disruption of gas supply ahead.
It may be noted that failure of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) load management plan, envisaging supply suspension to industry during winter season on the SNGPL network has panicked the textile industry. The industry has already faced a gas curtailment for 120 days during outgoing summer season of current calendar year, which means the SNGPL has already curtailed gas supply to textile industry for more than 90 days, stipulated in the gas connection contracts.
Also, the gas supply curtailment for three days a week has crippled down 40% of the installed capacity, which means if continued some four million bales shall remain unutilized due to the forced closures. The cotton growers are already under pressure as textile mills are not in a position to procure two million bales at present due to energy shortage.
Talking to APTMA leadership including group leader Gohar Ejaz, central Chairman APTMA Mohsin Aziz and Chairman APTMA Punjab Ahsan Bashir, the federal minister made clear that the government has planned gas curtailment to power plants, and not textile industry, for uninterrupted gas supply to fertilizer plants during Rabi season. Therefore, a panicky situation in textile industry is uncalled for as the government has strong realization that this industry was contributing to economy in terms of jobs and precious exports, he added.
Dr Asim asserted further that the government would keep textile industry on top priority in gas load management plan, as it cannot afford closure of textile industry at any cost. The industry share of gas would not be reduced and supply would remain intact despite ongoing gas shortage, he stressed.
The APTMA leadership told the federal minister that the industry has gone to the state of financial crisis due to 40% underutilized capacities amidst energy shortages and demanded removal of three days a week supply curtailment. Instead, the APTMA leadership said, the government should dedicate new gas finds of 200MMCFD, as assured by the federal minister during his visit to APTMA, which consumes 300MMCFD on SNGPL network. The industry leadership has expressed the fear that viability of industry is being compromised and shall soon be forced to become a national liability with no fault on textile industry entrepreneurs, as it cannot sustain with 14% interest rate, 40% closed capacity and three days a week gas curtailment.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA)