LNG to help reduce Pakistan’s energy crisis: PM

KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Sunday inaugurated Pakistan’s first Liquified Natural Gas terminal at the Port Qasim. It is Pakistan’s first LNG terminal established by Engro Terminal Limited within a record time period of 330 days and a capacity to re-gasify up to 600 mmscfd.
Speaking at the ceremony, the prime minister said that the government brought this inexpensive source of energy to the country in record time.
He said the previous three governments made several attempts to introduce LNG source of energy but failed. Within eleven months of the contract signed, the terminal started functioning which was an example of cooperation between the government and the private sector, he added.
The prime minister said other sources of energy like oil, hydel and nuclear were considered as expensive means as the country required an integrated and efficient source to overcome its crippling energy needs.
The bids for the whole process were completely transparent and world acknowledged government’s efforts in this regard, he added. He said the world was thinking that the project would take several years but the government succeeded by introducing the LNG based energy.
The prime minister said within the short span of the PML-N government, the first LNG terminal system had started working. The completion of terminals was necessary for supply of energy, he said and thanked the authorities concerned for making the task possible. He said no terminal in the world had been completed in the shortest time with full re-gasification facility.
The prime minister said the terminal has so far handled 100 LNG cargo ships with 6.1 million tons of LNG. It would benefit power, fertilizer, textile and other industries from huge supplies of Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas, he added.
He said with capacity to inject 600 mmscfd RLNG in the system, Engro terminal emerged as the single largest gas source in Pakistan. With the supply of RLNG, the country was saving about $1.5 billion each year when compared with other expensive energy resources like diesel or furnace oil,he added.
The prime minister said with supply of RNLNG, the CNG sector had been revived with ample supply of power for the fertilizer industry. He said the second terminal would start functioning in November this year followed by at least two other terminals in the private sector.
The prime minister said it was a good step for the private sector to participate and build their own terminals keeping in view the largest demand and market. Expressing his confidence, the prime minister said Pakistan energy issues would be resolved soon and termed the inauguration of the terminal a great success in the right direction. It was Pakistan led and owned project for energy solution which was made possible within shortest time when compared with other countries of the region including Bangladesh.
Later, the prime minister speaking at another briefing ceremony of PGP’s LNG project terminal, said that it would be inaugurated in November this year. He said the government was fixing the power crises of the country and soon the load-shedding would be a thing of the past.
He said it was all possible due to the huge contribution by LNG sector and referred to Engro terminal with re-gasify capacity of 600mmscf and 100 per cent capacity by utilizing 4.5 million tons of LNG.
The prime minister expressed his confidence that soon in 2018, the terminals in the country would be able to utilizing 9 million tons of LNG for the next five year.
He said it was all possible due to synergy of these terminals, great efficiency and the cheapest lowest gas term contract in the world. The prime minister said the LNG market was much larger and competition was hard so it was a ‘win win situation’ for the private sector, government and the people.
The private sector would be bringing in their own LNG, regasifying it and delivering it to customers through third party access regime which had already been put in place, he said, adding thus, there would be a system in which customers would be free to opt for purchase of LNG on their own. The prime minister said the government would stay out of buying LNG and building terminals as it would be done by the private sector.
The government would step in only when the private sector failed to meet the demand, he added. He said the LNG community in the world had already appreciated government’s efforts in this regard. The government’s vision was to deliver LNG in any quantity to any customer in any part of the country and eyeing complete replacement of furnace based energy plants in 2019.
The prime minister termed LNG import ‘a game changer for Pakistan’ as the fifty per cent primary supply for energy was being made from gas. “Nawaz Sharif had decided not to go for ground breaking of the projects but for completion of projects,” he said and referred to long awaited completion of Lowari Tunnel. The prime minister said the PML-N government was for completion of projects despite the political upheavals. He said the second LNG project was an equity based with no debt on the project, reflecting confidence of the investors.
The prime minister announced that the government did not invest a penny in these projects rather it was upto the private parties. It had only leveraged their demands and ensured transparent bids. The investing companies would not get a penny unless they started delivering gas. The asset value for the second LNG project must be over $300 million and that too for the fifteen years as projects spoke for themselves, he added. Staff Reporter