ISLAMABAD: Power Division is reportedly in a state of shock as Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL) has conveyed that it can meet only 50 per cent RLNG demand of power sector in August 2021, which is an indication of further increase in tariff due to use of expensive fuel.

On Tuesday, Minister for Energy, Hammad Azhar, held an internal meeting to discuss fuel requirements especially in the light of SNGPL’s inability to supply required quantity of RLNG to the power sector.

On June 9, 2021, Power Division wrote a letter to Petroleum Division with a request to direct SNGPL to allocate RLNG volumes as per requirements of National Power Control Centre/National Transmission and Despatch Company.

The original RLNG requirement planned by NPCC for August, September and October 2021 was as follows: (i) August 900 MMCFD; (ii) September 900 MMCFD; and (iii) October 705 MMCFD.

However, on July 2, 2021, SNGPL conveyed that it is in a position to supply only 550 MMCFD RLNG to power sector for the month of August, 2021.

Power Division maintains that the committed volumes are quite inadequate to meet power generation requirements during the high peak summer months, adding that reduced RLNG allocation to power sector will result in increased consumption of RFO/HSD, which is extremely uneconomical.

The sources said, Power Division has requested Petroleum Division to issue necessary instructions to SNGPL to allocate RLNG volumes as per the requirements of NPCC/NTDC during August, September and October 2021.

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has time and again snubbed NPCC for not operating power plants which are economical. The regulator also denied extra cost to NPCC on the account.

Last month, the officials of NPCC informed Nepra that they had asked Petroleum Division to arrange 900 MMCFD for June and July but the latter arranged only 500 MMCFD due to which expensive power plants were operated.

Power Division was recently widely criticised at the way it dealt with power situation in the country when Engro’s RLNG terminal went on dry docking.—MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN