ISLAMABAD: The first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Port Qasim has turned out be a boon for the port authority as it has notched up revenues of approximately $91 million from LNG handling and processing since the inception of operations in March 2015.
According to officials, the revenue contributed by the LNG terminal has surpassed all the revenues earned through oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminals at the port.
Fotco Oil Terminal handles roughly 6 to 8 million tons of petroleum products per annum, which brings the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) a royalty of roughly $4-5 million. Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Engro Vopak Terminal handles around 500,000 tons of LPG per annum, from which the PQA earns about $2.4 million.
Port Qasim is becoming an energy trading hub of the country as it handles oil, LPG, LNG and coal at its terminals to meet the country’s growing needs, say port officials.
Apart from these terminals, power projects are increasingly being developed at the port. Coal-fired power plants of about 1,980-megawatt production capacity and re-gasified LNG-based power plants of 1,350MW capacity are at different stages of development and construction at the port.
Sharing details of the power projects, the officials pointed out that K-Electric is working on a 900MW re-gasified LNG-based power plant, Engro is developing a 450MW re-gasified LNG-based power project, Sinohydro is setting up a 1,320MW coal-based power plant and Lucky Electric is working on a 660MW coal-based power plant.
Another LNG terminal with planned handling capacity of 600 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) and investment of around $130 million is also under construction at Port Qasim, which is expected to kick off commercial operations this year.
Furthermore, different consortia are working on projects to construct more LNG terminals at the port, which will lead to a significant increase in the handling capacity.
According to officials, the first LNG terminal, built by Engro, is receiving an average of six cargoes per month and re-gasifies 600 mmcfd. In the past 28 months, Pakistan has imported 6.1 million tons of LNG through this terminal.
Since the addition of LNG to the country’s gas distribution network, the government says it has been able to bring 2,200MW of power generation capacity online by switching from expensive liquid fuels.
In addition to these, investment in new gas-fired power plants is adding another 3,600MW to the power generation capacity. These plants are being developed in Sheikhupura, Jhang and Kasur districts which, the government claims, will be the country’s most efficient production units.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2017.