PAKISTAN PROMISING LNG PLAYER ON GLOBAL ENERGY MAP

AMANULLAH BASHAR
Aug 06 - 12, 2007

Pakistan is well poised to be a leading LNG player on the global energy followed by SSGC, s efforts, being the facilitator of Pakistan's first 'Mashal' LNG Project.

Munawar Baseer Ahmed Managing Director SSGC while appraising the performance and achievements of SSGC to OGRA delegation led by its Chairman Munir Ahmed during a recent visit to SSGC Head Quarter elaborated the first LNG project coming in collaboration with the private sector at Port Qasim.

Munir Ahmed, Chairman OGRA while showed his keen interest in SSGC's initiatives. OGRA acknowledges the efforts of SSGC for re-engineering its business process and its reliance on state-of-the-art technology to serve its customers better.

The members of the Authority comprising of Rashid Farooq, Vice Chairman and Member Oil and M. H. Asif, Member Finance as well as executive directors including Sarfaraz Ali Shah and Syed Jawad Naseem accompanied Chairman OGRA.

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE

MD, SSGC pointed out that before 2003-04, the annual capex of the company was in the vicinity of Rs. 2 billion but from 2004-05 onwards, and the average has been Rs. 5.8 billion. In the current year, SSGC would attempt to achieve Rs. 9 billion capex, which would be four, and half times the previous 5-year average before the Company started its 5-year, Rs. 46 billion strategic development plan, the MD said. He asserted that the Company had achieved several milestones due to better management and enabling of business processes through information and other technology.

The senior management of SSGC, through comprehensive presentations dilated on the salient features of the ambitious rolling investment plan that focused on sustained supply of natural gas to nearly 1.9 million customers in its franchise areas. Presentations on Technology Implementation dilated on notable achievements in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Information Systems, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and technology-enabled change management. Live demonstration of key CIS, GIS and ERP modules were also given. Another presentation focused on Company's UFG reduction plan on the sectoral basis, achievements to date and special initiatives taken.

The OGRA delegation was informed that the Company was driven towards reducing cases if unaccounted for gas (UFG) as part of the UFG reduction plan to the minimum and since 2002-2003 has taken far reaching pragmatic steps in this regard. In addition, the OGRA's senior management was informed of another one of SSGC's initiatives called the Technical Advisory Services (TAS) through which it gives expert advice and guidance to customers who are either in the process of setting up new industrial units or desirous of making their existing units more fuel- and energy-efficient.

100 PERCENT ACCURACY IN BILLING THROUGH HYDROMETERING

SSGC and Hydrometer GmbH, the Germany-based global leader in digital utilities metering solutions have signed a memorandum of understanding for Pakistan's first Automated Meter Reading (AMR) System, effectively making the gas utility the FIRST to incorporate such a technology for improved meter reading.

The system will allow for 100% accuracy in billing, eliminate shortcomings of old infrastructure and reduce gas wastages. Munawar Baseer Ahmad, MD, SSGC and Johannes Sappa, CEO, Hydrometer GmBH signed the documents on behalf of their respective organizations. The other signatories were Torsten Hagele, Head of Sales, Middle East, Hydrometer GmbH and Mahmoud-ul-Haq, Managing Partner, IMS Pakistan. Present on the occasion were Engr. Naeem-ur-Rehman Akhoond, SGM (Management Services), Yousuf Ansari, Company Secretary, Azim Iqbal Siddiqui, SGM (Customer Services) and Riaz Salam, AGM (Billing) and Salman Ahmed, Managing Sales, IMS Pakistan.

IMS Pakistan being exclusive business partner of Hydrometer in Pakistan had proposed a plan to install AMR System to SSGC. The former took the initiative considering the limitations faced in manual meter reading in accessing congested areas of Sindh and Balochistan besides being confronted by a number of logistical issues.

According to Munawar Baseer Ahmad, MD, SSGC, the company is importing 5,000 ACD G-1.6 meters, which would be installed with the AMR system for domestic meter reading. The system by means of radio gadgets would read customer meters and then transfer the data through a PDA device into the billing system. AMR reduces the need for meter readers to manually gather meter readings each month. SSGC being a customer-centric organization known for incorporating state-of-the-art technology applications sees AMR as an ingenious way to improve customer service and control their meter reading costs besides controlling gas theft and reducing unaccounted for gas (UFG).

On the occasion, Mr. Ahmad said that the strategy would be to run pilot projects in multiple areas so as to monitor the performance, benefits and costs savings that could be derived from using the AMR technology. He said that the part of the program was to jointly develop new applications and devise collaborative marketing efforts of the meters with Hydrometer. According to the MoU, the Project would be carried out in two phases. First phase would involve installation of Drive-by wireless automated metering followed by Remote GPRS gas metering in the second phase. Hydrometer has been involved in manufacturing advanced measuring equipment technology since 1862.