ISLAMABAD, Sep 11: Following the introduction of ease-of-doing-business strategy by the government, as many as five private sector companies are planning to set up Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals, having capacity to re-gasify 500-700 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) gas.
“The consortiums of Exxon, Shell and Mitsubishi besides Spanish and French companies are poised to establish LNG terminals in Pakistan, who are considered world leading players in the energy sector,” a senior official privy to the petroleum sector developments told APP/DailyLife.PK on Wednesday.
He said the federal cabinet had recently cleared the private sector companies, adding “A terminal, as per international standard, takes almost two years to complete once its construction starts.” Currently, the official said, two LNG terminals were operating at Port Qasim Karachi and injecting around 1200 MMCFD gas in the distribution network, adding the capacity of Floating Storage and Re-gasification Units (FSRUs) was also being increased.
He said the Petroleum Division had planned to bring 400 MMCFD LNG in the system by December, out of which “200 MMCFD is guaranteed as tender has already been floated to ensure transparency.” He said the government wanted to engage private entities in the LNG sector by removing all bureaucratic hurdles under the ease-of-doing-business plan, for which a legislation was being drafted to ‘open up the LNG sector’ for attracting more investors. The LNG is considered the only available instant-option to meet the country’s ever-growing energy needs, he added.
Elaborating, the official said, if a private company did not require the government guarantee and it was not selling the commodity to the government, there will be no need of any approval. “A private company will be able import its own LNG for supply to industry.” He said the price of government imported LNG was regulated by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and if the private sector opted to sell the commodity to retail consumers, the price would be determined by the authority.