Private Sector Sets To Start LNG Import Before Peak Winter

ISLAMABAD, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 11th Oct, 2020 ) :A private sector company, which secured gas sales and marketing licence from Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, is all set to start importing the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) before the advent of peak winter season, supplementing the government efforts to meet the consumers’ increased demand.

“We are ready and just waiting for the implementation on Legal Framework prepared by the government to facilitate private sector in the LNG import, ” Chief Executive Officer of Universal Gas Distribution Company (UGDC) Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha told APP.

He said there were some bureaucratic snags for private import and utilization of the LNG, which would hopefully be removed at the earliest as the government believed in opening up the energy sector for private sector players.

“The UGDCL has planned to import its first LNG shipment in October and November subject to implementation on the Legal Framework,” Paracha, who is also Central Chairman of the All Pakistan Compressed Natural Gas Association (APCNGA), said.

Recently, he said, the government had also invited the private sector to use the unutilized and access private capacity of the LNG terminals to ensure improved supply of the gas to consumers in the upcoming winter season.

With the private sector import, Paracha expressed confidence that the commodity shortage would be overcome to great extent; besides CNG stations and other industries would continue to operate as per routine.

He said it would also help the government saving around Rs 97 billion on account of the LNG terminals ‘fixed charges,’ if the private import continued throughout an year.

In addition, he said, the government would generate around Rs 104 billion revenue in a year after flow of private sector LNG in transmission network of Sui Southern Gas Company and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited.

The country’s oil import bill would also come down by Rs 800 billion, he said, adding the imported LNG was almost 13 percent cheaper than the other imported fuel.

“We will import our own LNG, inject in the pipelines of the gas companies, supply to CNG stations and other industries and collect bills from our consumers by paying rent to SSGC and SNGP against utilization of their transmission network.” The UGDC CEO said it would be a win-win situation for all stakeholders as the private sector would get business and consumers smooth supply of gas throughout the year without any financial involvement of the government.

Paracha said the UGDC had signed agreements with 670 CNG stations and some other industrial units for supply of the gas and “We are just looking for implementation on the Legal Framework to start the LNG import.” Meanwhile, the APCNGA welcomed the Economic Coordination Committee’s (ECC) decision with regard to allowing the OGRA to issue licences for setting up new CNG stations after a break of 12 years.

The ECC has permitted the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to issue new CNG Licenses to Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG)-based filling stations.

“We are thankful to the government. It is an extremely positive step, which reflected the government’s prudent policy and future vision for revival of the CNG sector,” Paracha said .

The decision, he said, would help bring down the country’s oil import bill and create around 1.2 million job opportunities.

With increased use of the CNG in major cities, Paracha said, environmental pollution would also come down drastically.

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