More sufferings for citizens as KESC raises alarm bells

KARACH: The conflict between Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and Sui-Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has directly affected the Karachiites, who have already been suffering massive power outages for the last three months.

Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has raised alarm bells on sudden and unilateral decision taken by the Sui Southern Gas Company on Thursday morning regarding cut in gas supply to the company, said a spokesman of power utility as the unannounced reduction of the gas supply for KESC will further decrease the power production. The unannounced reduction in gas supply started due to dropping of gas pressure at the power plants due to valve pinching by SSGC. It was the beginning of the fiasco. Due to this action the gas turbines at the power plants started tripping, leading not only to the damage of the equipment but also reduction in the power generation capability.

It came to light that SSGC had made an irresponsible and unilateral reduction in KESC’s gas supply from the already low level of 180 MMCFD to an abysmal 120 MMCFD. KESC had many times reiterated the fact that to cater to the city’s growing power demand of 2500 MW daily, the minimum required gas supply is 276 mmcfd. The supply baseline has already been merited by the ECC in its directive, advising the increase in gas supply to KESC from 160 MMCFD to 276 MMCFD or thereabout. This unexplained and strange move by SSGC has been made using payment dues as an excuse, which is in fact far from the truth.The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has reduced its gas supply to KESC by 60 mmcfd, i.e. from 180 mmcfd to 120 mmcfd. The gas utility was compelled to take this step because its total outstanding with KESC has swelled to above Rs 28 billion, said a press release of SSGC issued here on Thursday.

During the last month, KESC paid 50 per cent of its current bill, this month it has not made any further payments to SSGC although the due date was July 20, 2011. KESC paid its full current bill till November 2010. As a result of this sordid state of affairs, SSGC is faced with severe financial crunch, as its management is unable to pay salaries to its employees as well as settle its obligations with E&P companies. The SSGC categorically dispels the impression created in the media that it has totally cut off its gas supplies to KESC. It has only reduced it by 60 mmcfd due to KESC incapacity to settle dues with the gas utility. – Nation