ISLAMABAD: Immense investment potential exists in the energy sector of Pakistan and the government will extend maximum facilities to investors in diverse fields within the country, said Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan.
Addressing the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference in Tokyo, the minister reaffirmed that Pakistan was committed to encouraging investment in the energy sector.
“Government will ensure availability and security of sustainable oil and gas supply to boost economic development besides fulfilling the strategic requirement of the country,” he said.
He emphasised that Pakistan’s multibillion-dollar energy industry had tremendous investment opportunities for local and foreign investors. The minister pointed out that Pakistan was focused on improving the ease of doing business to encourage foreign investors to initiate new projects and expand their operations in Pakistan.
Highlighting Pakistan’s current energy situation, the minister informed conference participants that oil and gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), were major components, which made up 75% of energy supplies. In order to mitigate energy shortages and meet the requirement, various steps had been taken by the government aimed at the development of the LNG sector, he said.
The measures included the setting up of two LNG terminals to receive and re-gasify 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), permission to the private sector to establish five more LNG terminals, laying a 1,100km re-gasified LNG pipeline and developing four LNG-based power plants. He added that third-party access rules and network codes had also been developed to provide access for private-sector investors and consumers to the national gas transmission pipeline system.
“At present, Pakistan has installed 1,400-megawatt renewable energy capacity, which we target to increase up to 18,000MW by 2030,” he said.
Ayub also met with Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al Kaabi on the sidelines of the conference. He apprised his Qatari counterpart of the progress on existing cooperation in LNG import from Doha under a government-to-government agreement and future prospects for Qatari investment in energy-related infrastructure in Pakistan.
Ayub also held a meeting with Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Isshu Sugawara and apprised him of the investment-friendly policies of the government and tremendous potential and opportunities that Pakistan offered particularly in the power, oil and gas sectors. Being one of the largest emerging markets in the world, he said, Pakistan would like Japanese companies to take full advantage of the economic opportunities offered by the country.
The Japanese minister appreciated the economic reforms being undertaken by the government of Pakistan and voiced hope that Japanese companies would take advantage of the business and investment opportunities.
Ayub extended Pakistan’s full support to the endeavors of the Japanese government for promoting the use of hydrogen energy and recycling of carbon dioxide in light of the Tokyo Statement after the first hydrogen energy ministerial meeting in Tokyo.
A delegation of Mitsubishi Corporation also called on the energy minister and briefed him on the company’s ongoing projects in Pakistan as well as its future plans, particularly in the energy sector. The minister emphasised that Pakistan was open for business with Japanese companies and the government was committed to facilitating foreign investors in every possible way.
The conference, organised by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, was attended by ministers from various countries, industry leaders, professionals and experts belonging to the energy sectors worldwide. Ambassador of Pakistan to Japan Imtiaz Ahmad accompanied the minister in the conference.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2019.