ISLAMABAD – The second Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment from Qatar, under the recent government-to-government sale purchase agreement between Pakistan and Qatar, would arrive at Port Qasim in Karachi on March 8.
The first ship carrying approximately 141,000 cubic meters LNG had docked on Tuesday at the Elengy LNG terminal at Port Qasim, from where the imported gas is being injected in the system of Sui Southern Gas Company for onward supply.
“The LNG import is the only cheapest and instant remedy for the energy-starved Pakistan as its major gas reserves are depleting fast and the supply-demand gap is widening,” according to official sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.
Now days, they said LNG was being considered essential part of energy-mix needs of world’s emerging economies, adding that world was turning towards it. They said global and emerging economies such as China, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, European Union and Brazil were ensuring that LNG should remain part of their energy-mix requirements.
They said Japan was importing 80 million tonnes of LNG every year (MTPA) and India 15 MTPA due to the commodity’s cheap price and efficiency as compared to other fuel.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, the sources said, took a bold and practicable step, which the previous governments could not take, to import LNG for meeting the energy needs of power generation and industrial sectors.
Pakistan, they said, signed a 15-year agreement with Qatar to import up to 3.75 million tonnes of LNG a year, which was being highly appreciated by business community. The country’s total gas production is around 4 bcfd (billion cubic feet per day) against the demand of 6 bcfd, which shows approximately two bcfd gap between demand and supply of the commodity.
The deal, Pakistan’s biggest, will help the country add about 2,000 Megawatts of gas-fired power-generating capacity and improve production from fertilizer plants now hobbled by the lack of gas.
“It is the hallmark of Pakistan Muslim League-N government that it made possible import of LNG for the first time,” they said and added that Japan, South Korea, China, India, Taiwan, Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico, Turkey and France were among the major LNG importing countries.
The sources described that the settled LNG price was 13.37 per cent of the brent and cheaper than the gas to be imported through Iran-Pakistan, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline projects and Pakistan indigenous gas.
“Even the India’s LNG contract is expensive by 30-35 per cent than Pakistan’s deal with Qatar,” he said. “The landmark deal will save the country’s Rs.100 billion per annum and help meet its energy needs by 25 percent,” they said.
They said LNG-based power production would cost $ 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) as compared to energy produced through diesel, which costs approximately $ 18 cents per kilowatt hour.