The fate of over 3.5 million CNG fitted vehicles and 3,696 stations now hang in the balance following last month’s government decision to impose ban on imports of kits and cylinders and surging CNG load shedding in the country.
It all started in 1998 when the government allowed the use of CNG in vehicles in order to make the environment green but it seems that the CNG industry, kit makers and importers, auto makers, vendors and above all the CNG fitted vehicle owners are now having sleepless nights these days as they do not know whether the ban is imposed on permanent basis or it is a temporary move. In a nutshell it seems that the days of saving money while running ...view middle of the document...
Prices of edible items are already high coupled with high power and gas charge and it will be impossible for them to run vehicles on petrol due as it costs 50 per cent more than CNG.
Some CNG dealers have been yelling for the last one and a half years that the government is all set to destroy the CNG sector and that is why CNG price is being made at par with petrol prices aimed at discouraging its use in the vehicles.
A station owner does not agree with the market perception that the ban on CNG kits and cylinders will stay forever. He sees gas crises situation till February 15 and after change in weather the demand and supply situation of gas will improve.
He says that gas crises have emerged due to extra connections of 140mmcfd of gas given to consumers under the pressure of some government ministers in the last two months.
“I think the government will revise its decision of ban on kits and cylinder imports after February 2011,” he says while assuming some positive outcome in the wake of a series of meeting being held between stakeholders and the government to bridge demand and supply gap through load management.
He did not agree that recent killing of 40 people in public transport due to cylinder blast was actually caused by blast of CNG cylinder. He adds that most of the blasts were occurred due to LPG and oxygen cylinder or due to leakage or filling.
Meanwhile, All Pakistan CNG Association will start the campaign of CNG vehicles checking according to new safety rules in the country. It was decided in a meeting held in Islamabad by Petroleum Ministry attended by HDIP, Explosives department, OGRA officials, Provincial transport secretaries, CNG owner and dealers association and All Pakistan CNG Association.
The meeting finalized the changes in OGRA rules for Cylinder Fitting location and number of cylinders. HDIP will start training for the recommended staff of the checking centres. APCNGA set up 25 to 100 kits checking centres county-wide where diploma holder technicians will check the kits.
APCNGA has assured government for every possible cooperation to all the relative departments and hoped that in six months, 0.6 million vehicles will be checked according to new rules.
The CNG industry people has already rejected the ban on import of CNG kits and cylinders saying it will encourage use of sub-standard and non-CNG kits and cylinders which would cause fatal accidents and precious human lives.
They said that the government did not consult the CNG dealers and station owners in this regard. This decision will increase burden on foreign exchange as demand of petrol fears to go up substantially due to CNG load shedding and low pressure at CNG outlets.
The government is literally not bothered about the fact that by stalling the growth of cheap fuel (CNG), extra pressure will come to bring more petrol from foreign destinations as refineries are not running at required throughput due to circular debt issue.