RLNG shortage may bring power crisis

It is expected that due to the acute shortage of Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG), furnace oil and water the first week of July 2021 is expected to be riddled with load shedding and power outages across the country.

According to sources National Power Control Centre (NPCC) had requested Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Company Limited (SNGPL)/ Petroleum Division to supply 900 MMCFD RLNG in July 2021. However, only 300 MMCFD RLNG has been pledged to be made available. And even then there is no confirmation for this 300MMCFD which is almost one third of the demand and still not confirmed.

Moreover the stocks of furnace oil are also not sufficient as per requirement to run furnace-oil fired power plants. So it is expected that this shortage of fuel will result in shortfall of 3000MW which will ultimately lead to a lot of shedding all across Pakistan. In this regard on June 17, 2021 a meeting was held to discuss the possibility of increasing outflow from Mangla and Tarbela to increase power generation which was, Co-chaired by Secretary Power and Secretary Water Resources Division. Chairman Indus River System Authority (IRSA), and other concerned representatives also attended the meeting. Chairman IRSA opposed the possibility of increasing outflow because that water in Mangla reservoir is stored for Rabi crop for Sindh and Punjab. Besides, inflow has also decreased because of low temperature in Skardu area, which ultimately will affect its outflow and generation. Both Sindh and Punjab have vehemently opposed the possibility of increasing outflow from dams so no progress is expected on this avenue.