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ISLAMABAD: The government has started preparations of a wishlist to be discussed during the forthcoming visit of Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has sought progress on the following proposals: (i) acquisition of two LNG power plants by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) consortium; (ii) investment in green field projects – establishing solar power plants in Pakistan; and (iii) Energas Terminal, in which Qatar has had significant interest.

The sources said Qatar has also expressed interest in Pakistan’s offer to buy shares/stakes of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and sell Mirage-2000 fighter aircrafts to Pakistan.

Emirs of Kuwait, Qatar accept PM Shehbaz’s invitation to visit Pakistan

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sources said, is taking all the stakeholders on board to finalise agenda to be discussed during the visit, which is due shortly.

On acquisition of two LNG power plants by Qatar Investment Authority, Power Division noted that Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) was an issue and has been resolved. Debt re-profiling still has to be worked out by Finance Ministry.

However, on the acquisition of two RLNG power plants, Haveli Bahadur Shah and Balloki, Finance Ministry noted that an exercise to address issues related to the balance sheet of NPPMCL is under way at Finance Division. Additionally, G2G framework, intergovernmental commercial transaction Act has been enacted.

Both countries are also closely discussing amendments in proposed Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) aimed at extending extra protection to investment to be made by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan has already requested Qatar for a third contract of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for two more cargoes monthly but the latter is seeking details of reforms taken by Islamabad. Pakistan is importing LNG from Qatar under two different contracts signed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Government and PTI Government.

On solar power project, the government had decided that it would be through competitive bidding. Solar power policy has been formulated on this basis.

Nepra has also confirmed the benchmark tariff and next step is open bidding. Price discovery would be ready by end of April after which engagements with other governments (Qatar, UAE, and KSA) on G2G basis can take place. Power Division had recommended that the cost of land for the project should be factored into the tariff but Nepra did not agree.

The finances for cost of the land would have to be arranged although it was not a huge sum compared to the project size.

In 2023, on acquisition of Islamabad and Karachi airports, Qatari side had shown interest in inclusion of Aeronautical Income (which is major part of airports’ income). The QIA requested to include Lahore airport in the deal. Qatar also requested to provide initial PIA financial and operational data at the earliest.

Qatar had expressed a desire to acquire Islamabad and Karachi airports first and informed that matter of Lahore airport may be dealt with at a later stage.

Qatar has also been updated about steps taken by the government of Pakistan for facilitation of G2G agreements. The Qatari side, however, was of the view that they would prefer open bidding to bring transparency in the process of investing in Pakistani ports.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Taimoor Jun 07, 2024 11:04am
Has he even confirmed his arrival?
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Irfan Daud Jun 07, 2024 11:21am
Indonesia scraps plan to buy Mirage fighter jets from Qatar in Feb 2024, as lawmakers said the second hand jets were old.
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Ch K A Nye Jun 07, 2024 11:22am
More MOUs?
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Power Master Jun 07, 2024 01:00pm
Pakistani specializes in bribery
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Omani Jun 08, 2024 02:49pm
Please sell Karachi to Qatar ...100 year lease like Hong Kong or maybe even more
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Omani Jun 09, 2024 12:42am
Welcome to the 'IPPs' for the gas industry!!
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