ECC forms panel to probe gas loadshedding in winter

ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) held here on Tuesday formed a committee to analyse the issue of proposed natural gas load management programme for winter.

The committee will comprise federal ministers for petroleum and natural resources, finance, industries, agriculture, textile and water and power and deputy chairman of the Planning Commission. It will submit its report to the cabinet.

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin chaired the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

An official handout issued after the meeting did not say as to when the committee would start work and submit its report since winter is just one rainfall away in most parts of the country. But sources privy to the meeting said the committee would complete its work in days and the load-management programme would be introduced next month.

The committee approved the pricing formula of E-10, blending of ethanol into petrol.

The committee decided that the mechanism and formula for determination of ex-distillery ethanol price in a transparent manner would be worked out by the Ministry of Industries and Production in consultation with all stakeholders including Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) so as to enable the authority to determine and notify ex-depot sale price of E-10 per litre price as per EEC decision of May this year.

The oil marketing companies plan to set up E-10 fuel pumps across the country by next year to introduce the new fuel. Ethanol is produced by fermentation of molasses, and is a by-product of sugar industry.

The ECC decided that Ogra would determine prices of E-10 motor petrol on a monthly basis. Ogra and the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan would develop appropriate mechanism for ensuring E-10 quality.