Islamabad: Compressed natural gas (CNG) station owners have blamed captive power plants (CPPs) of industrial units for wasting gas worth hundreds of billions of rupees over the past five years.
“Owners of CPPs are responsible for electricity, gas and CNG load-shedding as they are getting a large quantity of gas at subsidised rates,” said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, All Pakistan CNG Association Supreme Council Chairman, in a statement on Friday.
Even gas supply to power plants was being stopped to divert it to the CPPs, he said, describing it as the worst form of exploitation of resources.
He recalled that the PML-N, when it was in the opposition, resisted calls for providing gas to the CPPs at a discount and purchase of electricity from them at higher prices. However, now when the party is in power, the CPPs continue to receive natural gas to generate power for industrial purposes and its sale to the government.
On the other hand, the CPP owners insist they need gas to efficiently run their industrial plants and remain competitive in the international market.
Paracha claimed that CPP operators were getting gas for the whole year in violation of the nine-month agreement.
Pointing to the December 2009 verdict of the Supreme Court, he said it clearly stated, “However, as far as CPPs are concerned, the policy must be revised and without any justification they cannot be allowed supply of gas to produce electricity because they supply electricity at much higher than the Nepra rate, instead of subsidised rate, to the NTDC.
“Therefore, the supply of gas to CPPs should be revised to a lower priority and not at a subsidised rate.”
Paracha stressed that the court’s decision had clarified everything, but the government was still not ready to take any action.
He rejected efficiency claims of private power plants, saying they had been wasting gas, which could be verified from reports of independent experts.
“The crisis would have been eased had the government not cut gas supply to efficient state-run power plants,” he said.