ISLAMABAD, Dec 12 (APP): Caretaker Minister for Petroleum Muhammad Ali on Tuesday said the government was committed to ensuring uninterrupted gas supply to all fertilizer plants throughout the current winter season to maximize fertilizer production.
“In the current year, it has been decided that fertilizer plants will operate at full capacity without any closure during the winter months to achieve maximum fertilizer output,” he said while addressing a press conference along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi and Minister for Interior Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti.
He specifically emphasized that Fatima Fertilizer and Agritech, which traditionally closed for three months during winter, would remain operational at full capacity this year.
“All plants, including Fatima Fertilizer and Agritech plants, will be running at full capacity throughout the current winter season,” he affirmed, adding the decision to keep operating all the plants at their maximum capacity was aimed to ensure a consistent and sufficient local supply of fertilizer to farmers.
Responding to a question, Muhammad Ali said the government had ordered two Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) cargoes for December and one for January to meet domestic gas requirements.
However, he acknowledged that the country currently faced insufficient gas production to meet demand, with local gas reserves depleting by approximately 10 percent annually. At the same time, consumption continued escalating with each passing day, he added.
The minister also said that the government was actively working to improve the infrastructure for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) supply across the country.
He mentioned ongoing efforts to revise the LPG policy, with certain proposed changes, and hinted that it would soon be presented to the cabinet for approval.
Regarding the exploration sector, he acknowledged that inefficient policies of the past led international companies to leave the country due to non-payment.
However, he assured that the government was working to give a boost to the exploration of new hydrocarbon reservoirs and local gas production to meet domestic requirements.
Responding to another query about the removal of the Managing Director of Saindak Metals Limited (SML), Minister Muhammad Ali clarified that the decision was made in line with the prevailing laws and service rules of the company, under the instructions of the Islamabad High Court.