Industry suffers as gas dispute erupts

KARACHI: Industrial activity in the port city was caught in the crossfire on Thursday as a dispute over payment arrears between Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGCL) and K-Electric Ltd (KEL) erupted suddenly.

K-Electric is SSGC’s largest customer, and in a midday public announcement, claimed that its request for enhancement of supply of natural gas due to onset of summer demand has been ignored by the gas utility.

Karachi is in the midst of heatwave-like conditions, and demand for electricity has spiked since the start of the week.

“As temperatures rise, the peak demand touched 2,600 megawatts on Wednesday and is expected to continue escalating in coming days,” the company said in its announcement. “Due to a reduced gas supply, 500MW gas-fired plants are currently not operational creating an additional shortfall in the system.”

Published in Dawn, 30th March, 2018