Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan on Monday expressed the hope that international investors would get the benefit of the huge investment and business opportunities available under the open market regime in the LNG sector of Pakistan.
Speaking at the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference 2020, held in Japan, through a video link, he said for the past two decades, Pakistan had been facing a shortage of gas due to annual average decline of 5% in production and a steady growth in demand. He added that the country was setting up gas pipeline infrastructure to import the commodity in a bid to bridge the gap between supply and demand.
He reiterated the key initiative of the government to expand the footprint of private sector in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply as the prime mover to meet future gas demand in the country.
The minister apprised conference participants of the commissioning of new LNG terminals and expansion of transport capacity of the existing re-gasified LNG pipeline by laying an additional pipeline of 1,600mmcfd capacity.
Through this, the government aims to evacuate additional RLNG volumes from the existing two terminals and from LNG terminals being developed by the private sector.
“Government has allowed the private sector to participate in utilising the gas network of Sui companies via third-party access dispensation whereby the private sector can import LNG,” he said. “State-owned entities will provide regasification services at a tariff determined by the regulator.”
He underlined that the government was encouraging the private sector to provide small-scale LNG supplies to meet off-grid gas demand through LNG trucking, commonly known as virtual pipeline.
“Small-scale LNG supply will offer significant investment opportunities to the private sector,” he said.