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Pak textile mills finally get 24-hr gas supply
Mar '16
In a huge relief to Pakistani textile mills in the Punjab province which had been reeling under an energy crisis, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) has started supplying gas to the mills round-the-clock after almost six years.

The announcement follows the arrival of the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from Qatar. Punjab textile mills, which were presently receiving gas just for four-six hours a day, started getting re-gasified liquid natural gas from Wednesday night at a cost of $6.66 per Million British Thermal Unit (MMBTU), according to media reports in Pakistan.

The total demand of the Punjab textile mills captive power plants is around 200 MMCFD. The gas supply to mills will also save electricity of 1000MW, which can be diverted to other industries.

The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited had posted the price of RLNG supply on 24x7 basis and the industry had started securing allocation of gas for the current month.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) former chairman and patron-in-chief Gohar Ejaz said that with the supply of RLNG, the Punjab industry's problem of disparity, affordability and viability has been resolved to a large extent.

He said that the industry had been asking for availability of energy at affordable price to compete regionally. The government had been supplying RLNG at $9.8 per MMBTU, which has been reduced to $6.66 per MMBTU from Wednesday night.

Gohar Ejaz said that a regular supply of RLNG on 24x7 basis would clear the production scenario ahead. Until the Qatari shipment came, the SNGPL was supplying gas for four hours a day at present at Rs 7 per MMBTU. The situation would change altogether with the addition of RLNG to the system at a regionally affordable price, he added.

Ejaz was of the view that injection of 400 MMCFD LNG into Pakistan's gas transmission and distribution system will immediately stimulate economy, particularly the large scale manufacturing (LSM).

He said that the textile industry is vying to reduce its cost of doing business, particularly the cost of energy, which is almost 60 per cent higher as compared to the regional competitors.

“Electricity to the textile industry in the region is not more than 9 cents per kilowatt hour against 14.5 cents per kilowatt hour in Pakistan at present,” he added.

APTMA Punjab chairman Amir Fayyaz said that only the continuity of textile industry operations can ensure exports and employment in the country.

“If the government properly patronised the industry, we have the potential to convert our current value added exports of Rs 5 billion into Rs 15 billion per year.”

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