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ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) is scheduled to meet on Thursday (June 24) to discuss a way out of the likely energy shortfall due to fuel shortage and Engro's terminal dry-docking. To be presided over by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar, the committee will take decisions in light of discussion held at a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday.

M/s Engro argues that dry-docking activity at Port Qasim is expected to completely halt operations for two days starting from June 30, 2021, due to replacement of Engro’s Exquisite vessel with vessel Sequoia and supplies will be normalized over the next four to five days. Further, PSO and PLL (Pak LNG Ltd) have indicated that some spot cargoes, along with the expected higher hydel output, will support gas load management for the power sector and export industry.

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has also not booked requisite quantity from June 29, to July 5, 2021 and RLNG -based power plants, which require 900 MMCFD gas will be provided only 300 MMCFD gas. Furnace-oil fired power plants are also not being provided required quantity of fuel. Indus River System Authority (IRSA) has also maintained it cannot release water from storage of Mangla and Tarbela reservoirs without approval from the Council of Common Interests. Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) has already disconnected gas supply to entire industry and CNG sector due to severe shortage of indigenous gas, except export-oriented industry.

The country can face unscheduled load shedding for six hours at least for one week due to the impending fuel crisis. The sources said, Petroleum Division will give presentation to the CCoE on LNG in addition to update on LNG terminals. Update on North-South Gas Pipeline Project (NSGP) is also on the agenda of CCoE. In March, this year Pakistan had approved protocol on the amendments in Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) between Pakistan and Russia on North-South Gas Pipeline (NSGP) project.

Asad Umar forced the Petroleum Division to place the protocol before the Cabinet, as he wrote on the summary that it requires detailed discussion.

The summary was subsequently submitted to the Prime Minister for approval. Keeping the observation of the Member in view, the Prime Minister directed that the matter may be placed before the Cabinet in terms of rule 19(3) of the Rules of Business, 1973.

Accordingly, the Cabinet Division sought the decision of the Federal Cabinet on the summary submitted by the Petroleum Division, regarding "North–South Gas Pipeline (NSGP) Project-approval of protocol on the amendments to the Inter-Governmental Agreement between Governments of Pakistan and the Russian Federation ".

Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) stated that it had submitted the implementation status of the NSGP project in light of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s (SCP) judgment of August 13, 2020 to the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE). In response, the CCoE directed the Petroleum Division to ensure that the timelines for the Project were strictly adhered to and that the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) was utilized for the project, in accordance with the directions of SCP.

The MoE-PD was moving ahead with the project's implementation; the assignment account for the project had been opened and the GIDC Board had approved the release of sufficient funds to meet requirements for the current fiscal year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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