Pakistan has pumped 77b cubic feet of gas into system so far through LNG terminal

Company official makes pitch for imported LNG, says move ‘right one’

Our Correspondent May 02, 2016
The Port Qasim LNG terminal will save $600m through fuel substitution. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Pakistan’s first and only LNG terminal at Port Qasim has so far re-gasified and pumped over 77 billion cubic feet of gas (bcf) into the national gas distribution network by converting approximately 1.7 million tons of LNG imported so far, said Amir Mahmud, terminal manager of Engro Elengy Terminal Limited (EETL).

He added that a total of 29 LNG shipments have so far berthed at the port in the last 13 months and all the imported LNG has been re-gasified and pumped into the SSGC system for further distribution. Shipments have arrived from Qatar, Australia, Nigeria and Spain.

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He informed that as per the current Annual Delivery Plan, EETL is receiving four shipments a month.

Mahmud said that after the continuous supply of LNG into the system, gas-based power plants are getting 250mmcfd, fertiliser plants 80mmcfd, CNG sector 35mmcfd and textile industry is getting 35mmcfd of gas.

He said that most of the LNG imported so far has been utilised to run gas-based power plants that were either sitting idle due to non-availability of gas or burning expensive form of fuel to produce expensive electricity.

Amir informed that recent domestic prices for different fuels are: LPG $15.13/mmbtu, HSFO $8.05/mmbtu, HSD $17.7/mmbtu, MoGas $18.23/mmbtu while RLNG is $6.74/mmbtu.

“This terminal alone will save up to $600 million for Pakistan through fuel substitution and will generate up to 2,000MW of electricity,” said Mahmud. “The step to set up LNG import infrastructure is in the right direction and the country needs another three to four LNG import terminals to curtail the ongoing crisis. “

Pakistan currently faces a gas shortfall of 2bcfd and its supply is expected to deplete to 1,500mmcfd in 2030, from the current level of 4,000mmcfd.

“The demand/supply gap is expected to increase to a mammoth 7,000mmcfd in the next 15 years. The economic cost of this gas shortage is leading to Pakistan incurring losses of up to $1 billion per year, as the country is forced to import expensive forms of fuel to make up for energy requirements.”

The official added that around 1,200MW to 1,500MW of power generation capacity was under-utilised because of unavailability of gas and the government’s inability to bear the fiscal impact of running these plants.

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Mahmud said that the whole world is turning towards LNG and Pakistan’s move was also a welcome one. “Global and emerging economies such as China, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, European Union and Brazil ensure LNG remains part of their energy mix.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2016.

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