ISLAMABAD: Pakistan LNG Terminal Limited (PLTL), Managing Director Azam Soofi has been reportedly dismissed from his post on December 15th, by the company’s board of directors for imposing fines on second LNG terminal.
This development comes after Soofi imposed a fine of $300,000 per day on Pakistan Gasport Limited due to continuing delays in commissioning of the LNG terminal, reported Dawn.
According to an official, Azam Soofi has temporarily been replaced by Adnan Gilani, Chief Operating officer of Pakistan LNG Limited.
Earlier it was reported, PLTL which comes under jurisdiction of Petroleum Division, had earlier penalized PGPL $30 million for not brining the terminal online in June as per commitment.
PGPL had challenged the fine and it is currently under adjudication. These fines imposed on PGPL earned the ire of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who has publicly voiced his opposition against this penalty.
As per sources, Mr. Sufi was called to visit Prime Minister Secretariat and directed to take-back the penalty or submit his resignation. He refused to cede to both requests and stated he was unwilling to face the accountability process and would keep operating under the rules unless told in writing by the relevant authorities.
On December 12th, PLTL’s board of directors had demanded the removal of MD Soofi, but disagreement rose among the member ranks over its legality.
These penalties were imposed by PLTL after PGPL failed to commission the terminal by November 28 as per agreement. Besides, the terminal developed multiple problems as its three joints collapsed on December 2nd, 8th and 10th because of gas pressure build-up.
Shipments were delayed due to suspension of operations at PGPL’s terminal and got diverted, while two other orders were delayed.
An official said PGPL is supposed to pay $300,000 for commissioning delay of 2nd LNG terminal as per the agreement and PM Abbasi could direct this penalty to be suspended.
After divisions arose over legalities of Mr. Soofi’s removal in the BOD meeting on December 12th, efforts made over next few days by PM’s office and Ministry of Energy paid dividends as they were able to secure a majority in the board, which ultimately cost Mr. Soofi his job.
After Mr. Soofi’s removal from MD’s post of PLTL, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s favourite officers Mr. Gilani and his boss Mobin Solat would now be operating four companies under petroleum division.