ISLAMABAD - Expressing a friendly gesture, Qatar has agreed to supply 500mcfd Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Pakistan to resolve energy issue, TheNation learnt reliably.
But at the same time, it has out-rightly declined to construct LNG terminal at Karachi.
The sources privy to the development told that a special meeting held here in the premises of the ministry under the chair Petroleum & Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to discuss major development regarding import of LNG from Qatar to Pakistan after farmer’s willingness to supply LNG to the later. Officials of the ministry attended this very important meeting, which has prepared three-point framework. The petroleum ministry would dispatch a summary on three-point framework to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet for its approval. The meeting seriously discussed the nitty gritty of the construction of LNG terminal if LNG is imported. The meeting also talked about exemption from PPRA rules to bring imported LNG to Pakistan through constructing LNG terminal. However, Ogra has so far declined to give exemption of licence for the construction of LNG terminal, sources added.
During the course of this meeting it was discussed in detail that following the request of Pakistan to construct LNG terminal at port city of Karachi and to supply 500mmcfd LNG to Pakistan, Qatar has so far declined to construct the terminal while it has expressed its readiness to supply 500million cubic feet per day to Pakistan. Qatar has also asked Pakistan that construction of LNG terminal would be Pakistan’s responsibility.
The meeting has formulated a three-point framework under which LPG storage terminal of SSGCL’s would be used for imported LNG after certain retrofitting. Similarly, to materialise this alteration, a tender for retrofitting would be issued and payments to the company whom the retrofitting tender would be given be paid through tolling charges. LPG terminal of Engro Vopak for 200mmcfd LNG would also be utilised after retrofitting.
Retrofitting refers to the addition of new technology or features to older systems. For example power plant’s retrofit improving power plant efficiency / increasing output/ reducing emissions. Principally retrofitting describes the measures taken in the manufacturing industry to allow new or updated parts to be fitted to old or outdated assemblies (like blades to wind turbines).
A senior official at petroleum ministry told that required changes in the terminals of both companies (SSGCL & Engro Vopak) would be possible in seven months. He said international competition bidding would be made for the construction of 500 to 1000mmcfd of LNG terminal. Engro Vopak has assured the government that it would make possible the construction of LNG terminal in 12 to 15 months if the incumbent regime would ink agreement after conducting transparent bidding.
About the per MBTU prices of the LNG, sources also said that further decrease in the price of LNG from $17/mbtu would not possible if keep in mind the present price trends of the commodity in the international market. They said during this significant meeting the petroleum minister was of the view that there is no option available to control the gas crisis besides short term and long-term LNG import projects.
It is worth mentioning that Engro Vopak Terminal Limited is a joint venture of Royal Vopak of the Netherlands and Engro. It has been providing world-class services to the growing chemical and petrochemical industry of Pakistan. The company offers storage and handling solutions for liquid and gaseous chemicals and storage for oil products.