ISLAMABAD, May 25 (APP): Minister for Petroleum
and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday said the government had initiated different gas related projects worth Rs 800 billion, including setting up of LNG terminals and gas pipelines to meet energy needs of the country.

“By the grace of Allah Almighty, Pakistan will have
surplus power due to effective policies of the present
government by 2018,” he said.

He was addressing the participants of the launching
ceremony of the Universal Gas Distribution Company (Pvt.)
Limited, the first-ever company which had secured Liquified
Natural Gas (LNG) import and sale licence from the Oil and
Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to feed the Compressed
Natural Gas (CNG) stations.

The minister invited other private companies to come
forward and get such licences as it would create an atmosphere of competitiveness in the market.

He said LNG was cheaper than any other fuel and
it would end reliance of the CNG sector from the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to run their outlets.

Khaqan said it was the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) government that took a bold initiative to import LNG as the past governments could not take any practical step in thar regard.

Terming gas ‘backbone’ for the energy sector, he
regretted that some elements were criticizing the LNG import and misleading the public about its benefits.

With the import of LNG, he said Pakistan that was
importing one million ton fertilizer now it had 1.5 million tone
fertilizer surplus. All gas-based power plants were
in running condition, CNG sector was back to its business and industrial sector was getting full supply.

Commenting on performance of the PML-N government,
Khaqan said during last three years the government had launched unprecedented development projects for the benefit of common man. “The three-year development, is much higher than the period from 1999 to 2013, if compared,” he added.

The government, he said, was making progress in all key
sectors including energy, infrastructure development, social
welfare projects like Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Universal Gas Distribution Company Ghiyas Abhullah Paracha thanked OGRA for
warding the licence, saying that it would help revive
the CNG sector.

He said the company would use network of SNGPL and
SSGC to supply the commodity to CNG stations, which were
suffering from the gas shortage issue.

He appreciated the government for taking along the
private sector in import of LNG providing them a level-playing field and making them self-reliant in meeting their needs.

Among others, Minister of State for Education Baligh ur
Rehman, Adviser to Ministry of Petroleum Zahid Muzaffar,
President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and
Industry Abdul Rauf Khalid, representatives of business
community and OGRA attended the ceremony.