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ISLAMABAD: M/s Engro has claimed that it had been in discussion with concerned stakeholders on dry docking since October 2019.

The company says that government-to-government LNG agreement requires LNG to be delivered in LNG carriers at Port Qasim and limits any other vessel to bring cargoes on FOB basis. Therefore, the original plan to bring a filled FSRU had to be changed, which also increased complexity of the dry-docking activity. Despite this challenge, EETL and Excelerate Energy met the shutdown dates by managing the channel movement of FSRU Excelerate Sequoia to keep it in a cooled state. The closure time could not have been shortened further as fully optimized switch over also requires 2 to 3 days.

Since its commissioning, EETL has delivered essentially non-stop operations and remained near full utilization. Therefore, there is no seasonality impact of gas supplies from the facility and LNG demand will have to be managed regardless of summer or winter months, in case the terminal goes offline for planned maintenance.

EETL had been in discussion about dry docking with SSGC and all relevant government stakeholders since October 2019. It notified them about updates on dry docking on March 30, 2021, after a survey report issued by the Class Society – responsible to maintain overseas certifications of FSRU under international laws - made it clear that FSRU Exquisite must be sent for dry docking latest by June 30, 2021.

The Class Society had already extended the certifications twice due to COVID-induced disruptions that led to port shutdowns and unavailability of experts. Excelerate, the US firm that owns FSRU Exquisite, had also confirmed that the vessel could not be operated without Class Society certifications beyond the end of June.

Since the March notification, EETL had sought the flexibility and cooperation of stakeholders to find the right window for dry docking activity. However, as the deadlock persisted for over 3 months and confirmed window for the activity could not be determined before June 30, the company added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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