ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has decided to suspend gas supply to independent power producers (IPPs) in the country following non-disbursement of arrears of Rs 21 billion. Federal minister Dr Asim Hussain said following the severe energy crises in the country the ministry was providing gas to power companies to maintain a smooth supply of electricity adding that gas to the fertilisers has been stopped. He said IPPs had to pay Rs 21 billion and after several warnings to IPPs no development had been seen from their side. He said due to non disbursement of funds gas companies and the ministry faced difficulties therefore “we don’t have any other option left but to suspend the gas supply to these plants”.
He said the government was committed to taking steps to meet the energy requirements of the country and in this regard negotiations with Iran over an IP project were in progress. He said negotiations on the ministerial level were underway and Iran had also assured Islamabad of providing crude oil with credit line $50 billion. Hussain said decision to suspend the gas supply to the IPPs has decided following the critical situation in the country. He said that companies needs funds to spend on their own infrastructure and other different projects as ministry has not additional money to support the gas companies in the country. In this regard, IPP’s Advisory Council Chairman Abdullah Yousaf told online that the decision of suspension of gas to the IPPs was unjust and unfair. He said the government had not cleared liabilities of billion of rupees to IPPs and “now we have given deadline to the government to clear the arrears”. Abdullah Yousaf said if the government stopped the gas supply to the four plants of IPPs then these plants would be shifted on diesel and government would have to pay 137 billion additional amount. If government afford it then it should continue, Abdullah added. Yousaf said that during the second energy conference Prime minister has assured smooth supply of 207 mmbtu gas to the IPPs in the county and now if such steps were taken then situation would be more critical.