KARACHI - Karachi Electric Supply Company has unexpectedly faced a unilateral reduction in its gas supply by SSGC due to which the current gas supply to its power plants has been massively curtailed by almost 50 percent. This forced curtailment of gas supply by SSGC has adversely affected the power generation via KESC's gas turbines, leading to an unavoidable increase in the duration of load shedding in different residential and commercial parts of the city.
KESC has appealed to Dr Asim, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, for urgent restoration of the previous level of gas to save the city consumers from undue hardship. KESC has requested the minister to take urgent steps in this regard so as to preempt the feared expansion of load shedding hours and scope.
SSGC reduced the natural gas supply to KESC’s power generation plants from 220 MMCFD to 120 MMCFD on Tuesday evening. KESC understands from SSGC that three of its gas fields are under annual turnaround causing a shortfall of gas supply. KESC had earlier asked SSGC, twice in writing, to spare the essential power utility from gas cut by following the recently announced GOP policy on gas allocation (under which the power sector has been assigned second priority after domestic customers), particularly given the sensitive law and order situation across the city, but the gas pressure was dropped despite all that.
Given these extraneous factors, KESC was constrained to increase load shedding duration to up to 7.5 hours in the various residential and commercial areas. Total load shedding exemption of essential services and sensitive connections such as hospitals, industries and water pumping stations is currently being maintained but will also come under forced load shedding, if the gas supply by SSGC does not improve immediately.
KESC would resume the normal load shedding schedule for residential and commercial areas as soon as SSGC restores gas supply to KESC’s power generation plants to its previous level of 220-225 MMCFD.