SSGC STARTS LAYING 42"
DIA GAS PIPELINE
Sui Southern Gas Company
Limited achieved another historic landmark, by becoming the first
natural gas utility in Pakistan to begin laying a 42" diameter
natural gas pipeline, the largest-ever commissioned in the country,
in the Port Bin Qasim area of Karachi.
Mr. Ahmad Waqar, Secretary
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources performed the
ground-breaking ceremony of the pipeline project, designed entirely
by SSGC engineers and technical staff. SSGC corporate partners,
representatives of banks, financial institutions and oil and gas
sector companies were present to mark the inauguration.
Speaking at the
inauguration ceremony the Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum &
Natural Resources stated that: "the Government of Pakistan is
actively pursuing all three pipeline options as they are all of
strategic importance to the country." He further said that: The
LNG import project launched by SSGC would complement the
transnational pipelines and even precede them."
Talking about the
Government's directive to SSGC to distribute LPG in Gwadar, the
Secretary said: "he is confident the company would meet the
deadline of 31st December 2005, set by the President, General Pervez
SSGC will set up an LPG
storage and gas-air-mix facility in Gwadar and create a local
distribution network to distribute piped gas to customers.
The Secretary, Ministry of
Petroleum & Natural Resources commended the engineers, workers
and technicians who are participating in the 42" diameter
pipeline project. He said: "None other than the President of
Pakistan had appreciated the hard work and tenacity you had shown in
completing the Ziarat and Kalat pipeline projects. And I am sure you
will complete this one too on time.'
The Managing Director SSGC
Mr. Munawar Baseer Ahmad pointed out that the 42" diameter
pipeline was "the largest diameter gas pipeline ever laid in
the country and a tribute to the technical skill and expertise of
the company's engineers. It was also proof of the company's
readiness to handle large-scale gas infrastructure projects, such as
the transnational pipelines within and outside Pakistan."
Being built at an estimated
cost of nearly Rs.800 million, the pipeline would be linked with
SSGC's main transmission and distribution network servicing Karachi,
the main load centre, as well as the rest of Sindh and Balochistan.
High-quality, locally manufactured steel being used in the pipeline
conforms to API standard 5L, Grade X42 with three layers of P.E.
With a design capacity of
220 mmcfd, this pipeline will allow for more gas to be made
available for new and strategic industrial projects such as the
Textile City, Power Plants, Steel Mills and other industrial
estates. Industrial customers already account for nearly 80% of the
volume of natural gas sold by the company last year.
The MD SSGC said that the
42" pipeline project is a key component of SSGC's Five-Year
Rs.43 Billion (US$ 800 million) Strategic Development Plan, designed
to expand transmission and distribution (T&D) capacity to
1.8bcfd by the year 2009. It will also enhance system efficiency and
optimize service delivery to customers. He also spoke about the
significance of SSGC's integrated LNG import project, due for
completion in 2009.
COTTON PRICING SYSTEM
Cotton price was one dollar
a kg in 1947 which is more or less static in the international
market indicating a nasty fault in cotton pricing system
increase in price of every thing the cotton prices are stuck, which
creates doubt that, the international market forces are out to
deprive the cotton producing countries of their genuine rights .
Fritz Alexander Grobren of
International Cotton Association, Liverpool felt that there is
something wrong with the international pricing system of cotton as
presently it is cheaper than what it was 20-30 years ago. He was of
the view that the system has not taken into account increase in
input costs and impact of inflation that has enhanced prices of all
other commodities except cotton.
He called for carrying out
a serious study on the world cotton pricing system.
Pakistan's Punjab and
Indian Punjab are of the same soil characteristics but the crop size
in Indian side has increased many folds due to introduction of Bt
This was stated by Binod
Kumar Patodia, a delegate from India accompanied by a 9-member
delegation of the Spinners Committee of International Textile
Manufacturers Federation, Zurich, currently visiting Pakistan.
The delegation, led by
Andrew Macdonald, visited APTMA office to discuss issues related to
cotton and spinning industry.
contamination issue in India, Binod said that the problem has been
controlled by bringing basic research in development of seed cotton
and transfer of farming technology to growers through government and
NGOs, besides modernizing ginning industry and developing
Speaking on the occasion,
Ahmed Kuli Khan Khattak, Chairman APTMA, said he would take up the
matter regarding import of cotton from India through land with the
authorities in view of competitive prices, which would ultimately
help the industry.
The delegation was informed
that despite tremendous growth in the spinning sector and Pakistan
being a key cotton buyer now importing about two million bales
annually from worldwide sources, however, it lacks knowledge and
experience of international cotton buying and still follows
primitive system of cotton trading for local buying.
The delegation was
requested to assist APTMA in enhancing awareness and know how in
international cotton buying.
Andrew Macdonald strongly
recommended that Pakistan must invest in ginning industry to improve
cotton ginning to control contamination and emphasized the need for
pre-cleaning of cotton. He also strongly recommended that Pakistan
should develop a centralized system for classification and grading
of cotton to encourage quality and fair trading, as being practiced
in the United States.
JULY-OCT TRADE GAP WIDENS
Pakistan's trade deficit
rose by 162.57 per cent to $3.372 billion during the first four
months (July-Oct) of the fiscal year 2005-60, as against $1.284
billion over the same period last year. Official figures released by
the Federal Bureau of Statistics indicated that in October 2005, the
trade deficit was recorded at 117.65 per cent to $998.212 million,
as against $458.638 million in the same month last year.
The commerce ministry had
projected a trade deficit of $4.79 billion in the trade policy for
the whole fiscal year 2005-06. This shows that the projected target
would be surpassed next month.
The statistics showed that
trade deficit increased by 21.28 per cent in October 2005 when
compared with September 2005. The gap may further widen as the
government and the private sector would also start importing
materials for construction in the quake-devastated areas.
The analysis of trade
figures showed that Pakistan exports increased by 22.89 per cent
during the July-Oct period this year to $5.508 billion, as against
$4.482 billion during the same period last year.
On monthly basis, the
exports increased by 33.23 per cent to $1.329 billion in October
2005 as against $997.771 million in the same month last year.
However, the exports recorded a slight decrease of 11.34 per cent
during the month under review as compared to $1.499 billion in
The import bill increased
by 54 per cent to $8.881 billion during four months of this fiscal
year as compared to $5.766 billion during the same months last year.
On monthly basis, the import bill stood at $2.327 billion in October
2005, as against $1.456 billion in the same month last year,
indicating an increase of 59.81 per cent.
FIVE UREA IMPORTERS GET
The Trading Corporation of
Pakistan (TCP) has accepted bids for the import of urea at higher
rates despite having been offered much lower rates by some of the
Moreover, the tenders were
called for the import of 75,000 tons of urea but surprisingly the
Purchase and Price Evaluation Committee (PPEC) of the corporation
has granted import of 300,000 tons of the fertilizer.
As many as 14 importers had
submitted bids, which were, opened on November 8. The prices quoted
by them were ranged from $234 to $289 per ton.
The bids that were
discarded had offered the price of $234, $238, $247 and $249 per
ton. One of the bidders that had quoted the price of $271.7 was
reportedly convinced to 'rationalize' the offer to $270.5 per ton.
FALLING EURO HURTING
EXPORTS TO EU
Exports to European Union (EU),
the biggest trading partner of Pakistan, are becoming costlier and
incompetitive owing to a host of factors including the falling value
Earlier exporters used to
complain of punitive duties and high export refinance and mark-up
rates, but the falling value of euro has now further aggravated the
situation which made exports to EU member states almost unviable.
According to official
statistics, most of European currencies had declined by more than 10
per cent during the period of last one year. The euro, which is
official currency of the EU member states for external trade, also
depreciated by 12 per cent (Dec 30, 2004 to November 8, 2005).
JULY-OCT INFLATION RISES BY
Inflation rose by 8.55 per
cent year-on-year during July-October of the fiscal year 2005-06
mainly because of increases in house rents and prices of transport
and communication items.
Official data released by
the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) indicated that in October,
the year-on-year increase in inflation was 8.27 per cent.
Inflation measured by the
Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been creeping steadily upward during
the current year. However, it declined slightly to 8.27 per cent in
October 2005 from 8.70 per cent in the corresponding month last
year. This means average prices of 374 items of daily use rise over
eight per cent between July and Oct 2005, over June-July 2004-05,
putting more pressure on the consumers and restricting their buying
MINISTER FOR CHANGES IN
SUGAR FACTORY ACT
Minister for Food,
Agriculture and Livestock Sikandar Hayat Bosan has urged the need of
revision in Sugar Factory Control Act, 1950 to make it comfortable
for growers and sugar industry.
He has asked the Cane
Commissioners of the provinces to persuade the matter on priority in
order to bring the new changes in the Act.
Bosan was chairing a
meeting on the problems of sugarcane growers and sugar industry last
RECONSTRUCTION IN QUAKE-HIT
The United Nations General
Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution tabled by Pakistan
calling on the UN to mobilize the international community to address
the medium and long-term reconstruction needs of the areas affected
by last month's earthquake.
The resolution entitled
'Strengthening emergency relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and
prevention in the aftermath of South Asia earthquake disaster' was
co-sponsored by 133 countries from all regions and continents.
SAUDI GROUP TO INVEST MORE
Al-Jumaih Group of Saudi
Arabia, the buyers of the Karachi Electric and Supply Corporation (KESC),
has announced to make further investment in the city. A delegation
of the Saudi group led by its Managing Director Abdul Aziz Al-Jumaih
called on Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad abnd expressed interest
in investment opportunities available in the city and said that at
this stage they were strengthening their bonds with the people of
Pakistan through KESC.
Trans Polymers Ltd, a
UK-based company, has planned to establish a polyethylene plant at
Karachi with an initial investment of $480m.
United Bank Limited earned
a pre-tax profit of Rs6.5 billion in the first nine months of 2005,
recording an increase of 110 per cent. According to a press release,
UBL had earned a profit before tax of Rs3.1 billion last year.
RICE EXPORTS MAY PICK UP ON
Pakistan's rice exports are
likely to rise on increasing supplies from the new crop, and sellers
expect higher overseas demand in December, dealers were quoted as
saying. Export prices were steady during the past week as domestic
rates were higher. But domestic prices are expected to drop with
more new crop rice available.