Private sector to start LNG import from Nov

Govt opens market for private sector to reduce financial risks

Our Correspondent October 16, 2020


Pakistan has decided to open up the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market for the private sector from next month in a bid to reduce financial risks for the government and enhance gas supply to minimise shortage in the winter season.

The private sector will start importing LNG from November, which will continue till February under the initial plan. Two LNG terminals are currently handling their full capacity of LNG imports to meet demand.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar said on Wednesday that the cabinet had decided to auction the idle capacity of second LNG terminal. The private sector would bring first LNG cargo in November this year, he said.

Babar also chaired a meeting at the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) on Wednesday to discuss the utilisation of Pakistan GasPort terminal’s excess capacity of 150 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) for 90 days.

The second LNG terminal of Pakistan GasPort has the handling capacity of 750 mmcfd. The government has allocated 600 mmcfd whereas the remaining 150 mmcfd of capacity is lying idle.

The government allowed the Pakistan GasPort terminal to utilise its excess capacity till the end of March for sale of re-gasified LNG to K-Electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations.

The facilitation will include support from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and stakeholders in order to complete all legal formalities in time. Pakistan GasPort and Pakistan LNG Terminals Limited are set to finalise a borrowing/ lending agreement next week.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2020.

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