Jan 30 - Feb 5, 20

Pakistan is facing sobering energy crisis nowadays. The industrial units are being closed down while growth of exporting sector hit the snags on the suspension of gas supplies to the industries. Opponents of consumption of natural gas in automobile sector have been demanding of the government to promote liquefied petroleum gas in transportation sector.

Mueenud Din Khan, Executive Director Wak Gas Group, is one of those energy experts who strongly believe on the ability of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in overcoming the energy crisis in the country.

Comparing the rapid popularity of compressed natural gas (CNG) as preferable automobile fuel with the LPG, he said the government had yet to formulate concrete policy for the latter sector that could allow establishment of LPG stations much like the CNG dispensers.

Wak group signed agreements with Army Welfare Trust (AWT) to set up 100 LPG dispensers and outlets in AWT-run CNG pumps.

According to gas distribution plan by oil and gas regulatory authority (ogra), 10 per cent gas is allocated to transportation sector, 28 per cent to the industries and remaining to domestic sector. If 10 per cent load is shifted to the LPG sector, natural gas can be saved for the industries, he said.

"Now it depends on the government to continue to waste this 10 per cent resource on automobile sector or save it to give oxygen to the drooping economy," he added.

About the exorbitant prices of LPG, he sounded critical of indexing its prices to international crude prices.

If the government wants to charge consumers international prices, it has to first improve their buying power, said Khan. Ex-refinery prices are not affordable.

The prices of LPG can be brought down to Rs16 per kilo after its casting.

"I have pleaded to the concerned officials not to push the rates of this consumer and environment-friendly fuel, but unfortunately no heed is paid," he said.

It is sheer injustice a kilogram of LPG that is of Rs16 value, is sold to marketing companies at the rate of Rs91 or so.

Sixteen hundred metric tons of LPG is being produced per day in the country. It is expected that in next two years the production would increase by another 1000 tons a day due to a new refinery being set up at coastal area. If it is done it would mean a surplus LPG in the county.

He stressed that now it is the time that government should pay attention to this upcoming industry, which can prove to be a very efficient and cost effective alternate of gasoline in the auto sector. This would directly benefit the nation by cutting the petroleum import and would provide relief to auto sector by giving them an alternate high quality and economical fuel.

The gas shortfall is a result of unplanned growth of CNG stations which are proving detrimental to the country industry. These CNG stations are eating into our valued national resources and soon there would be hardly any indigenous natural gas available.

Rightful steps would have been to encourage LPG auto filling stations rather than CNG as it is economical, and cost-effective option. This fuel is best suited for automotives and does not hurt the industrial growth nor bother the domestic gas sector.

From the point of view of common users, LPG will be a preferred product as it would be more effective for the engine-no residual or un-burnt emission - so it is more environmental friendly as well as LPG conversion kit is 1/3 of the CNG kit. Regarding the domestic use of LPG there are some unbranded and fake kind of cylinders being produced and distributed in the market, which should be banned.

Established in 1982, Wak is recognized as the leader in LPG sector of Pakistan. It is operating terminal in Karachi to import gas. Having over two million customers, it is serving big local and foreign companies like Sitara Textile, Pepsi, etc. It distributes 150,000 metric tons gas per annum across the country.

It is the first ISO 9001 certified company which has the largest network of distributors with largest and biggest storage which in fact is more than 6000 metric tons at one point of time.

Wak has the pride of being selected by UNDP Program for distribution of LPG in AJK as well as was solely selected by the government of northern areas as only LPG company qualifying to distribute LPG in entire northern areas of Pakistan.