Pakistan’s second LNG regasification vessel arrives at Port Qasim

ISLAMABAD: After days of uncertainty, Pakistan’s second Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regasification vessel finally docked at Port Qasim on Sunday to reduce the prevalent gas deficit and provide fuel for 3,600 megawatts of new power-generation capacity of the country.

Officials at Pakistan LNG Terminal Limited (PLTL) on anonymity informed that a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) hired by the Pakistan GasPort Consortium Limited (PGPC) to store and re-gasify the LNG has docked at Port Qasim early morning on Sunday. They said that the gas off-takes from this FSRU will start functioning within two to three weeks after the certain necessary process.

“The terminal will be functional by the end of this month as the first consignment of LNG is expected to arrive at Port Qasim from November 28,” sources said. The sources also said that the second terminal is expected to reduce Pakistan’s gas deficit, provide fuel for 3,600 megawatts of brand new power-generation capacity, yield an estimated $1.5 billion in annual foreign exchange savings and visibly boost the country’s economic growth.

“We are hopeful that the commissioning of the country’s second LNG terminal will help meet the rising demand of energy,” a senior official of PLTL said.

Earlier, the PLTL—a public sector entity being run under control of the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division)—has imposed $30m fine on PGPC due to delay in the commissioning of second LNG terminal. The terminal under the timeline was supposed to be commissioned in June this year but it could not happen.

PLTL is supervising the LNG terminal project being the client while the PGPC is executing this as a contractor. This project was initially scheduled to be completed on June 30 but later rescheduled to be commissioned in July or August, ahead of the winter. The project missed the deadline that was again extended to September.

However, now it is expected to be completed by the end of November this year.

Pakistan is an energy-deficient country. It has a huge, unmet demand for natural gas that has hindered economic growth over the years. It has recently embarked on an ambitious and aggressive plan to meet its energy needs.

Under the plan, Pakistan is aggressively pursuing the import of LNG as its third terminal at Port Qasim would become operational in 2018, taking the total installed capacity close to 2,000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd). The first LNG import terminal in operation was established by Engro’s Elengy Terminal Pakistan Limited. It has an installed capacity of 600mmcfd. The second terminal is expected to start gas off-takes by the end of this month of November.

A Turkish company, Global Energy Infrastructure Limited (GEIL), is constructing the third terminal that will have a capacity of 750mmcfd at Port Qasim’s LNG Zone in Karachi. It is expected to be ready to import LNG in the second half (July-December) of 2018. This is being set up at a cost of $250-300 million and will be the first private-to-private LNG project.

The terminal is being constructed by a consortium of the private sector and would facilitate players such as CNG dealers, fertiliser manufacturers, power producers and state-owned companies like Pakistan State Oil.

The third FSRU, as per the agreement, would help import gas in the country for a period of 20 years from Qatar Gas. The agreement also provides an option to extend the gas import period by an additional two to five years.

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Ahmad Ahmadani
Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is a an investigative journalist at Profit. He can be reached at [email protected]
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