An undated image of three men working in a factory on the outskirts of Karachi. — AFP/File

The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Limited on Wednesday suspended gas supply to all industries including their units for power generation, fertiliser sector and CNG stations, as cyclone Biparjoy moves closer to the coastline of Sindh.

In a statement, the SSGC stated that the decision has been taken in the backdrop of the possible striking of cyclone Biparjoy and considering the shortage of natural gas and re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) and adhering to the directions from the federal government.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that cyclone Biparjoy is currently at a distance of 370 kilometres south of Karachi. Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman forecast that the cycle would strike Keti Bandar on Thursday (tomorrow) at around 11am.

“The gas supply has been suspended until further notice from 7:00am today (Wednesday) morning,” read the statement.

The gas supply company said that it sent notices of the gas shutdown to all industrial and CNG associations through e-mail last night.

“Adhering to the government’s directives in view of this cyclone, maximum gas will be given to the power sector to ensure power supply to the consumers,” it added.

The SSGC further said that it was ensuring enough supply of both indigenous gas and RLNG to K-Electric to meet its operational requirements.

The cyclone over northeast Arabian Sea moved north-northeastward during the last six hours, and now lies near latitude 21.7°N and longitude 66.4°E at a distance of about 370km south-southwest of Karachi, 355km south-southwest Thatta and 290km south-southwest of Keti Bandar, the weather forecast department said in a statement earlier today.

“Maximum sustained surface winds are 150-160 km/hour gusts 180 km/hour around the system centre and sea conditions being phenomenal around the system centre with maximum wave height 30 feet,” it added.

The PDM said favourable environmental conditions (sea surface temperature of 29-30°C, low vertical wind shear and upper-level divergence) are in support to sustain the cyclone strength through the forecast period.

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