OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) Managing Director Muhammad Arif Hameed has predicted severe shortfall of gas in coming winter, urging the consumers for efficient use of natural resource in the best interest of the country. In his first interaction with media since he had resumed the charge of SNGPL MD on April 2011, he forecasted that the shortfall of gas would cross 950 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) at the end of December, which was now standing at 300MMCFD, he added. However, at the same time, he announced that there would not be weekly curtailment of gas for CNG stations across the province during the next week due to Eid-ul-Fitr. He said the company would continue supply of gas to filling stations from next Monday to Sunday for providing relief to commuters. After Eid holidays, he said, three days gas load management plan for CNG sector would be observed. SNGPL is facing huge gap between demand and supply due to expansion in network every year. Every year load of 70-80 MMCFD (based on summer consumption) and 150-160 MMCFD (based on winter consumption) is added to our system. Arif told media that at present total demand on the SNGPLs network was 2,200 MMCFD against supply of approximate 1,900 MMCFD. In accordance with decision of the ECC of the cabinet, he said, the gas was being provided to two IPPs around Lahore with allocation of 38 MMCFD each. He added that gas was also being supplied to fertilizer sector with 20 per cent reduction in their sanctioned load. Giving more details about the future situation, Arif informed that during Annual Turn Around (ATA) of Qadirpur gas field, the SNGPL would be faced with additional shortfall of 400 MMCFD from August 29 to September 7 (10 days, during full ATA) and 250 MMCFD from September 9 to September 17 (10 days, during partial ATA). Moreover, he added, an average shortfall of 60 MMCFD would be faced during performance test at Qadirpur gas field from September 18 to October 14 (27 days) in addition to ATAs of Zamzama and Dakhni gas fields during this period. According to him the total shortfall during Qadirpur ATA would be bridged through the curtailment for nine days at a stretch in industrial sector of the province on rotational basis and then gas would be supplied for four days followed by four days curtailment. He admitted that Unaccounted For Gas (UFG), which was making loss of millions of rupees to national exchequer, was the most important issue for the company. He told the media that a number of steps were taken since April 2011 to reduce loss of precious natural gas for the company and the country. As a result of these efforts, a pilferage volume of 1,234 MMCF amounting to Rs.694 million has been booked to consumers. In addition to catching theft, above and underground leakages are being vigorously rectified, under-sized meters are being replaced while non billing cases are being detected, etc. He said that UFG has now been checked (accumulated UFG of 9.63pc for the full financial year 2009-10 jumped to 12.49pc in the first ten months of financial year 2010-11) which has been reduced for the months of April, May and June from 14.21 per cent to 11.29 per cent and then 9.33 per cent respectively. SNGPL MD said that company has made efforts and caught 410 cases of direct by-passes by non-consumers. A volume of 6,607 MMCF was booked to pilfering non-consumers in accordance with OGRA laws and rules. He stressed that the campaign against UFG loss would be intensified in coming months, hoping it would produce further positive results for the company. According to him, companys overdue receivable had increased earlier from Rs. 25,111 million as of June 2010 to Rs. 29,628 million as of March 2011. He said that a massive campaign was launched for recovery of companys overdues from all categories of consumers and that since end April 2011, over 11,500 gas bill defaulters were disconnected and recoveries were made from over 45,000 consumers. As a result of all this effort, he said, the companys overdue receivables as of 30th June 2011 reduced approximately 32 per cent that is from Rs. 29,628 million to Rs. 20,214 million. The company will step up its recovery drive after Eid from industrial, commercial, domestic and government gas bill defaulters, he added. Similarly, according to him, industrial and commercial consumers are being actively pursued for replenishment of security shortfalls.