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More LNG needed by Pakistan to meet energy requirement

2019/02/22 12:00

By Kamlesh Trivedi

 

Last fortnight the Pakistan government cleared a proposal to import more LNG during 2019. During a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy, proposal was cleared to import additional LNG volumes during 2019 mainly for the under-utilized second floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), operated by BW Singapore. The 170,000cbm FSRU “BW Integrity” has remained under-utilized since it was commissioned late in 2017.

Lower capacity utilization of the second FSRU forced Pakistan-based bulk industrial consumers to continue to use other liquid fuels. Pakistan has been spending a sizable amount of its foreign exchange reserves on import of alternative fuels because of the under-utilized second FSRU, according to Pakistan media reports. However, import alone was unlikely to sort out energy shortage issues of Pakistan as a lack of an adequate network of pipelines to transport RLNG within Pakistan is also a major issue. Hence the Pakistan government has directed state-owned Sui Southern Gas Com (SSGC) to lay down an additional 17 km long new pipeline, connecting the Port Qasim with the national gas grid to facilitate more import.

The first FSRU of Pakistan, the 150,900cbm “Exquisite”, operated by Excelerate Energy of the US, has been operating at its full capacity for quite some time, but just last week, a week long maintenance shutdown and bad weather conditions had forced Pakistan into a major energy crisis. Part of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces of Pakistan had to shut down auto CNG retail outlets.

To optimize the utilization of its FSRU terminals, Pakistan is expected to issue a series of LNG tenders in the coming weeks. However, financial crisis has continued to cast a shadow over Pakistan’s ability to pay for LNG and other fuel import and so it is a delicate balancing act for the Pakistan government where on one side energy demand is on the rise but on the other, the financial crisis has continued to deepen.

 

 

 

India : Energy Desk  Kamlesh Trivedi  +91-98795-50717
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