Legislation being drafted to open up LNG sector: Official

Imaduddin September 5, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division of Energy Ministry is pursuing an effective strategy to promote the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sector, considering it the only available instant-option to meet the country’s ever-growing energy needs.

Accordingly, legislation is being drafted to open up the LNG sector to attract private companies, a senior official told APP here Thursday.

He said the federal cabinet had recently cleared five private sector companies, which wanted to set up LNG terminals, having capacity of 500-700 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) gas each. “A terminal, as per international standard, takes almost two years to complete once its construction starts,” he added.

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 government wanted to engage private entities in the LNG sector by removing all bureaucratic hurdles under the ease-of-doing-business plan.

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.

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.”

Answering a question, the official said in future he was seeing America and Australia emerging as largest exporters of LNG in the world.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019
 

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