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Pakistan plans to install four LNG plants by end-2017

Karachi — Pakistan has initiated a plan to install four new LNG terminals handling around 2.3 Bcf/day to help mitigate the country's gas deficit, an official at the ministry of petroleum said Monday.

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Last week, the Economic Coordination Committee, the top body of the Pakistan government, comprising the petroleum, finance, law and industry ministries, head by finance minister Ishaq Dar, approved the 15-year sale and purchase agreement of LNG with Qatar, the official said.

Following the go-ahead from the committee, the petroleum ministry planned to install three LNG terminals each with the capacity to import 600 MMcf/d of LNG and a fourth with the capacity to import 500 MMcf/d.

Three LNG plants would be set up at Port Qasim, where the country's first LNG terminal began operations in March 2015, while the fourth would be installed at Gwadar Port in the western province of Baluchistan. It would be constructed by Inter-State Gas System, a Pakistani company handling pipeline and terminal projects in the country with a joint venture of China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, said the official.

These LNG plants due to be constructed by December 2017.

The LNG purchase would be made on a government-to-government basis where Pakistan State Oil, the country's biggest oil retailer, would execute all purchase agreements of LNG on behalf of the government, the official said.

The agreed price of the cargoes, set at a 13.37% Brent slope, is identical to the offer submitted by Gunvor into a buy tender by PSO seeking 60 cargoes to Pakistan over five years, starting in 2016.

Pakistan has been in an energy deficit for the last decade or so. Gas output has stagnated at 4.2 Bcf/day while demand has been surged to 6.2 Bcf/day in summer between 6.6 and 6.8 Bcf/day of gas in the winter season.

The government has been rationing and managing gas supplies to industries, residential consumers, CNG pump owners and power plants.

--Haris Zamir,