ISLAMABAD: Demand within the nation for electrical energy, pure fuel and petroleum merchandise has dropped dramatically because of the coronavirus epidemic, creating critical operational and monetary challenges within the provide chain.
Senior authorities officers informed Daybreak that electrical energy consumption had plummeted by nearly 30 per cent and authorities had been compelled to offer uninterrupted energy provide to even high-loss areas to keep up frequency. For instance, the full energy demand went all the way down to about 8,500MW on Monday in opposition to 12,500-13,000MW projections primarily based on precise consumption final 12 months.
These sources mentioned the consumption of electrical energy in January and February was nearly in keeping with projections of virtually 11,500-12,000MW. In distinction, the March consumption has stood round 10,000-10,500MW in opposition to projections of about 15,000MW made by the facility system operator.
An official mentioned the projection for April was about 18,000GW however it was unlikely to be achieved given the present scenario.
He defined that not solely the Covid-19 however latest wet spell had additionally affected the facility demand however main discount was brought on by the lockdown, forcing industries, places of work and business actions to close down. This was leading to greater capability costs and would finally have an effect on the patron tariff and trigger money move issues for energy firms.
Likewise, fuel consumption had plunged by about 40-50laptop and linepack of the fuel community was in crucial ranges on account of diminished off-take by shoppers. That is regardless of a major minimize in liquefied pure fuel (LNG) imports as recipient firms confronted liquidity damages and demurrages.
Officers mentioned the full fuel gross sales in latest days had come down by half. For instance, the LNG gross sales within the Sui Northern Fuel Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) community — Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — dropped to simply 430 million cubic toes per day on Monday in opposition to projections and preparations of about 800mmcfd.
In total phrases, the fuel injection within the SNGPL system stood at about 1,420mmcfd on Tuesday in opposition to complete gross sales of about 1,400mmcfd which meant surplus provides had been flowing into the system. That is elevating security challenges to the fuel pipeline community.
The ability system was at present drawing about 275mmcfd for electrical energy technology in opposition to nearly double the amount in the identical days final 12 months. The fuel consumption in industrial sector had dropped to about 130mmcfd in opposition to its earlier projection of about 260mmcfd, which meant half of the trade was at present closed down.
Additionally, the CNG sector was consuming solely 15mmcfd fuel in opposition to its projections of 40mmcfd. The one hope for the fuel firms at current was the operationalisation of fertiliser vegetation. The ability sector had positioned orders for LNG provides for April at 450mmcfd which additionally appeared unsure within the evolving circumstances whereas import orders had been already in place.
The petroleum division officers mentioned the import vessels from Qatar had been curtailed to three from 5 to deal with the scenario. They mentioned there have been calls for in sure quarters for declaration of power majeure in LNG and IPPs contracts however that was not an possibility into account due to its hostile penalties for the nation in the long term.
An official mentioned the federal government was involved with its power suppliers to deal with challenges in an inclusive method and guarantee win-win for all as a substitute of combating circumstances in worldwide courts, including the power majeure didn’t absolve a celebration of its obligations however may solely safe a delay.
Furthermore, the consumption of petroleum merchandise apparently confronted greater than 60-70laptop minimize as private and non-private transport got here nearly to a standstill following lockdowns introduced by the provincial governments to maintain their residents indoors.
Even, the railways passenger site visitors was stopped and freight motion drastically diminished as the necessity for motion of oil merchandise declined and left the Pakistan Railways solely with coal and restricted transportation of some different commodities, mentioned an official. The Railways needed to resort to about Rs6 billion injection from the federal authorities to fulfill wage obligations of its workers.
Officers mentioned the consumption of petrol and excessive velocity diesel had dropped by 60 to 75laptop respectively over the past two weeks as provinces began saying lockdowns. Excessive Velocity Diesel consumption has suffered greater than petrol, he mentioned.
Printed in Daybreak, April 1st, 2020