Ogra grants RLNG marketing licences to Tabeer, Energas

ISLAMABAD: Overriding all objections from some private companies, the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Tuesday granted marketing licences to Energas and Tabeer Energy for sale of regasified-liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to their customers.

The licences would be valid for 10 years, starting Jan 8, 2021. Both applicants are stated to have their own customers in the private sector and would arrange LNG imports without any liability to the government by utilising pipeline network of gas utilities. Initially, they plan to also utilise spare capacity of the LNG re-gasification terminals.

The regulator said that after scrutiny of the application, hearing the arguments of the applicant and the participants at length and information on record, it had arrived at the conclusion that applicants fulfill the legal requirements and are “entitled to the requisite licence”.

Therefore, it granted marketing licences to the two companies — Energas and Tabeer Energy — to carry out regulated activity of sale of natural gas/RLNG to the consumers for a period of 10 years.

The Ogra rejected objections raised by Pakistan LNG Ltd (PLL), Pakistan Gas Port, GEI Pakistan, OTO Gas, Gresham Eastern and Bilal Akbar Leghari against the two companies on various grounds. Both the licences are subject to completion of four agreements by the licence holders within a year, These include execution of Gas Transportation Agreement (GTA) and Gas Service Agreements (GSA) with Sui Southern and Sui Northern Gas Companies, execution of natural gas/LNG supplies agreements and agreements with LNG terminal operator.

Energas Marketing is a consortium of Pakistani shareholding largest business groups in Pakistan including Sapphire, Younas Brothers and Halmore with combined total assets estimated at $5.7bn having annual turnover of $3.2bn along with construction and operational experience of operating over 2,000MW of energy projects.

It is a sister organisation of Energas Terminal Ltd and had LNG supply letters from ExxonMobile for LNG supply. Energas Terminal is in the process of setting up its own LNG terminal at Port Qasim from which the RLNG would be supplied to customers.

Likewise, Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan is the parent company of Tabeer Energy Marketing. Mitsubishi has handled LNG operations around the globe. It is also setting up LNG terminal at Port Qasim. Mitsubishi has integrated business enterprises with offices in over 200 countries and has more than 65,000 employees.

The Ogra had held the public hearing on two applications about a month ago.

According to Energas’s Anser Khan, the company had secured the lincence, land allocation and related regulatory approvals for setting up of LNG terminal of its own by 2022, but initially it could import 200-250 million cubic feet per day of LNG by April 2021 using government-owned Pakistan LNG Ltd’s terminal capacity.

The Ogra said the company claimed that its licence would help the PLL to share a part of its surplus terminal capacity and help provide cheaper LNG to customers of group companies since it would not involve any middleman.

Tabeer Energy is reported to have assured Ogra that it had integrated plan of LNG for non-interrupted supply of gas to different sectors especially CNG and power who faced gas shortages and disconnections. Tabeer was also targeting to make its terminal operational in first quarter of 2023 and claimed to have arrangements with world class terminal providers and SNGPL and SSGCL to operate in gas sector.

Tabeer claims that its terminal would be the first fully integrated terminal where LNG import, re-gasifications and sales would be handled by the company itself and provide massive savings in foreign exchange to the government without any off-take guarantees. RLNG would be transported to the customers using the new North-South Pipeline being undertaken by the government in collaboration with Russia.

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