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Pakistan's PM sacks heads of gas utilities over energy crisis

Reuters  |  ISLAMABAD 

By Asif Shahzad

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's on Wednesday sacked the chiefs of Sui Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) and (SSGC) over a that has seen repeated supply outages.

Fawad Chaudhry, the government's main spokesman, said Khan took the decision after an inquiry committee found that the two companies were responsible for the crisis.

Since the start of the winter, Pakistanis using for cooking and heating, as well as factories and power plants that rely on the fuel, have experienced significant inconvenience due to or no supply at all.

Factories and business in the port city of Karachi, Pakistan's commercial hub, have been badly affected, threatening jobs and the livelihoods of workers.

"Recently, people have faced a severe gas supply crisis," Chaudhry said in a statement...The has announced the immediate sacking of the heads Sui Southern and Sui Northern," the statement said.

has suffered from for years, with regular power blackouts and caused by a mix of poorly maintained distribution networks, inefficient regulation and poor governance.

The country has significant reserves that can fill almost half its but supply constraints have led to increasing demand for LNG imports.

Khan's critics say the natural gas companies are not solely responsible for the recent energy crisis, pointing to decisions made by his government which have discouraged the importing of LNG.

In October, the new government announced it would renegotiate agreements for two liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals as part of a wider investigation into deals struck by the previous government.

The rapid adoption of LNG infrastructure made one of the industry's fastest-growing markets in Asia, sparking interest from the world's major and traders.

As part of moves to increase energy generation, and the on Wednesday signed a financing agreement worth $100 million for a in the southern part of the country, a said.

(Writing by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 19:21 IST