Omar expects int’l investment in LNG sector under open market regime

ISLAMABAD, Oct 12 (APP): Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan on Monday expressed the hope that international investors would get the benefit of the huge investment and business opportunities available under the open market regime in the LNG sector of Pakistan.

Addressing the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference 2020, Japan through a video link, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team focused on improving the ease of doing business and facilitating new-entrants in the country, said a news release.

Highlighting his government’s key initiatives in the energy sector, he said steps were taken to expand the footprint of the private sector in Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) sector as a prime mover to meet the growing future gas demand in the country.

The minister apprised the participants about commissioning of new LNG terminals and expansion of transport capacity of the existing Regasified Liquified Natural Gas (RLNG) infrastructure by laying an additional pipeline with 1,600 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) capacity.

The initiative was meant to evacuate additional RLNG volumes from the two existing terminals and the LNG terminals, being developed by the private sector.

He said the government had allowed the private sector to participate in utilizing the gas network of Sui Companies via third party access dispensation.

Under the initiative, Omar said the private sector could import LNG, holding the title of the commodity (LNG & RLNG), whereas state-entities would provide regasification services at a tariff determined by the regulator.

More so, the government was encouraging the private sector to develop small-scale LNG supplies to meet off-grid gas demands through LNG trucking commonly known as a virtual pipeline.

Small scale LNG would offer significant investment opportunities for the private sector.
The minister said Pakistan had been a gas producing country with daily production of over 4 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD), which was sufficient to meet its demands.

However, since almost the last two decades, Pakistan had been facing a shortage of gas supplies due to the yearly average decline of 5 per cent in production and steady growth in demand for the domestic and commercial sector.

He said the country was setting up gas pipeline infrastructure for import of gas to meet the gap between the supply and demand.