Engro’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal is scheduled to shut down for four days (Tuesday-Friday) for repair and maintenance work and the suspension is expected to halve LNG supplies to power plants, CNG stations, commercial, industrial and residential consumers.
LNG supply from the terminal will remain suspended for the first two days of repair work, which is being undertaken to replace temporarily installed floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Sequoia with a permanent one, Exquisite, which had gone to Qatar for overhaul in June.
“Engro Elengy’s own FSRU Exquisite is on its way to Karachi (Port Qasim) and good news is that it will not be empty, rather, it will be loaded with LNG,” an Engro Corp official told The Express Tribune on Monday.
The FSRU had gone to Qatar for dry docking (repair and maintenance), he said.
He revealed that supplies from the terminal would resume from the third day of repair and maintenance (Thursday).
These would be gradually ramped up and would normalise by the fourth day (Friday). The terminal has an installed capacity for the supply of 630 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of LNG, he said.
Almost all the supplies from Engro’s LNG terminal go to Punjab where two large LNG-fired power plants (having capacity of 2,600 megawatts) and hundreds of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations are located.
The planned shutdown will partially disrupt the life in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
“Due to gas shortage, there may be some chances of low pressure complaints in certain parts of Karachi,” Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) said in a statement.
At present, only two LNG import terminals are functioning in the country. The second LNG terminal, owned by Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL), will continue to work and ensure supplies to the priority consumers, including residential consumers and power plants.
The terminal is owned by the state and has installed LNG handling capacity of around 600 mmcfd.
The share of gas supplies from the two import terminals is calculated at around 26%, or 1,200 mmcfd, of the total gas available in the system, which is estimated at 4,600 mmcfd. Pakistan produces 3,400 mmcfd of gas from local fields.
“The supply of LNG to Sui Southern Gas Company will drop by half to 75 mmcfd over the next four days (September 14-17) compared to 150 mmcfd in normal days owing to dry docking of Engro LNG terminal,” SSGC announced in the statement.
SSGC supplies gas to consumers in Sindh and Balochistan while Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) transmits gas to consumers in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
“In order to ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to domestic (residential) and commercial customers, SSGC will manage gas load by halting gas supplies to all CNG stations across Sindh and Balochistan from September 14, 2021 (midnight between Monday and Tuesday) for four days,” the SSGC statement read.
“Gas supply to CNG stations will be restored on Saturday (September 18) at 8am.”
Moreover, gas supply to K-Electric, Sindh Nooriabad Power Company and Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim will fall marginally. If these reductions were unable to cover the gas shortfall for the priority customers, “gas supplies to non-export industries will be curtailed (as well),” it said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2021.
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