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CNG stations close down in NWFP, Punjab
01-20-2009, 08:21 AM
Post: #1
CNG stations close down in NWFP, Punjab
ISLAMABAD, Jan 19: Shortages of compressed natural gas (CNG) are turning acute across the Punjab and NWFP where hundreds of gas stations have closed down owing to low gas pressure.

The gas pressure has remained below 5 pounds per square inch compared to the normal range of 15 psi over the last three weeks.

Drivers across the two provinces could be seen complaining about low pressure. Many of them had reverted back to the use of petrol, while those who still ran their vehicles on CNG had to wait for hours in gas stations to fill in their cylinders, Central Vice-President of the All Pakistan CNG Association Ghayas Paracha told Dawn on Monday.

“We are facing around 170 million cubic feet of gas shortages daily. This is tantamount to 50 to 60 per cent CNG shortages,” Mr Paracha observed.

CNG stations in the Punjab and NWFP started facing shortages and low pressure since the start of this month as the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Ltd (SNGPL) started facing over 400 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of shortages.

Sources in the industry told Dawn that SNGPL shortages were increasing constantly as domestic consumption of gas had multiplied in the peak winter season. The company had been snapping gas supplies to CNG pumps for minimum six hours on daily basis while it had so far failed to come up with any remedy to resolve the problem of the low gas pressure.

Around 180 CNG stations are closed in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, 80 in Peshawar and 200 in Lahore, Mr Paracha said.

In response to a question, he said CNG availability along the General Trunk (GT) Road was so far fortunately satisfactory, which was a source of relief for those who travelled on the historic road.

People are simply not satisfied with the mileage of their cars due to low pressure when they compare it with their performance during times when gas pressure was normal.

“We are paying the increased rate of Rs50 a kg for the CNG, but no one is here to listen to our complaints,” says Hamid Ali, a resident of Islamabad.

Since Saturday last, CNG stations across the country have started passing on the 10 per cent increase announced by the government in price of compressed natural gas from January 1 to consumers by raising its price by Rs5 to Rs50 a kg.

The CNG association has demanded the government the supply of gas to CNG stations from Gorgori, Kohat pipeline, which will be able to supply 325 mmcfd once its seven-kilometre incomplete part that crosses the troubled Darra Adamkhel tribal area is finished. Militancy in Darra Adam Khel area is the main cause of the delay in the completion of the project.

http://www.dawn.com/2009/01/20/ebr5.htm
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