Singapore — Pakistan plans to ambitiously grow its LNG imports over the next few years, Adnan Gilani, the chief operating office of Pakistan LNG Ltd. (PLL), re-affirmed at the LNG Supplies for Asian Market (LNGA) conference in Singapore this week.
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PLL expects Pakistan's 3.5 million mt/year (465 MMcf/d of gas equivalent) of LNG imports in 2016 to rise dramatically to 20 million mt/year in 2018 and 30 million mt/year by 2022, Gilani said.
He added that the country views LNG as a short-to-medium term solution for meeting a projected gas shortfall of 2-4 Bcf/d, depending on assumption scenarios used.
The country's gas shortfall recently culminated in a gas crisis in 2015, resulting in under-utilized gas-fired power plants, compensated for by expensive oil imports for power, and the country's fertilizer and textile sectors suffering shutdowns, Gilani said.
PLL is therefore planning to take advantage of the current weak global LNG market outlook, and the country's well-developed gas infrastructure, to rapidly grow its LNG imports, he added.
Pakistan relies on gas for around 50% of its total energy needs, has a vast gas pipeline network and is taking steps to remove pipeline bottlenecks inhibiting transporting gas from the south, where LNG imports are regasified, to the northern demand centers, according to Gilani.
In addition to the currently operational 600 MMcf/d regas terminal at Port Qasim, another four are expected to start up by end-2018, bringing the additional regasification capacity in the country up to 2.8 Bcf/d, said Gilani.
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