Inside Financial Markets
SSGC replaces 315,290 faulty meters to bring down the UFG ratio - Inside Financial Markets

SSGC replaces 315,290 faulty meters to bring down the UFG ratio

– Associated Press of Pakistan

The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has replaced around 315,290 faulty meters during the last fiscal year in a bid to bring down the ratio of Unaccounted for Gas (UFG), a key factor affecting its financial health and growth.

Besides, the SSGC Measurement Department replaced and tested 1,244 industrial meters against the target of 1,560 meters.

“Similarly, during 2019-20, around 3,000 industrial meters have been field proved at the site for ensuring the accuracy of installed measurement instruments and equipment. These meters were tested at the Meter Testing Lab,” according to an official report available with APP.

The company’s vigilant teams detected around 228,755 theft cases in domestic, industrial and commercial sectors, including unregistered consumers.

Besides, it carried out 74 network segmentation jobs, rehabilitated 143 kilometres of damaged pipelines, undertook 16,061underground and 993,950 overhead gas leaking surveys to prevent line losses.

During the period under review, as many as 97 First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against the pilferers taking the total number of cases to 460. “Till now 27 culprits are convicted up to 13 years in jail. In on-going trials, around 63 are on bail and around 52 in custody. Fifty-five recovery suites were also filed in this financial year (2019-20).”

The SSGC has decreased the volumetric loss of 5,167 MMCF gas against a target of 7,966 MMCF gas and brought down its UFG losses ratio by 0.15% as compared to the previous year.

The present government has given the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd and the SSGC a three-year UFG reduction plan [2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22] to gradually overcome the losses of 18,246 MMCF gas and 40,629 MMCF gas respectively.

The companies in total have been given the target to overcome the volumetric losses of 58,869 MMCF gas.

A senior official privy to the petroleum sector developments told APP that in line with the government’s strategy to reduce line loss, the gas companies were taking all possible measures to bring down the UFG ratio gradually in the coming years.

Under the strategy, the official said inspection of all industrial, commercial and domestic consumers was being carried out regularly to prevent gas theft by taking prompt action against unauthorized connections and illegal networks.

The UFG being one of the most critical elements in the gas sector, the official said, played a vital role in reducing the profitability of the gas transmission and distribution companies. He said the government had promulgated the Gas (Theft Control & Recovery) Ordinance, 2016 and involved law enforcement agencies to prevent gas theft.

The official said almost all industrial customers had been ‘Cyber Locked’ by restricting unauthorized access to the customer meter stations and allowing entry to authorized personnel only.

Besides, he said, the Electronic Volume Correctors had been installed at almost all the industries for strict check and balance on gas consumption and abnormalities.

According to a clause of the Gas (Theft Control and Recovery) Act-2016, any person who committed or abetted in tampering with gas pipelines for gas theft or disrupting the supply of gas, would be punished “with rigorous imprisonment which may extend to fourteen years but shall not be less than seven years and with fine which may extend to ten million rupees.”

Syed Zaki Hussain

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Inside Financial Markets was a joint publication of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX)and Society of Technical Analysts Pakistan (STAP)