- The PD demanded that all issues be resolved to pave the way for investment in Qatar.
- Investments have been pending for the past five years due to red tape.
- Secretary of the Petroleum Department personally trying to resolve all issues.
Islamabad: The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has directed the Petroleum Directorate to remove obstacles to Qatar’s $200 million investment in an LNG terminal, it said The news on Friday citing sources.
“Energas plans to build the LNG terminal with Regas capacity of 750-1,000 MMCFD with a 49% stake of Qatar Gas and 51% of Energas. To build on the BtB model, investment from Qatar has been stalled for the past five years due to bureaucratic red tape,” an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the publication.
Qatar raised the issue during Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Democratic Movement many times but no progress could be made on OGRA network code, tax holiday, TPA exemption, SNGPL GTA ( gas transfer agreement).
“This time the SIFC took up this matter with the intervention of the top military leadership and instructed the mandarins of the Petroleum Directorate to resolve all the issues and submit a report to secure the investment from Qatar.”
A senior official told the publication that after SIFC’s intervention, the Petroleum Department secretary is personally looking into the matter and trying to resolve all the issues.
The Energas terminal, which will operate without any government guarantee for RLNG take-off, will have the capacity to regasify up to 1,000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of LNG.
However, Qatar is not the only one interested in LNG projects. Pakistan Port Gas Limited’s LNG-2 terminal and Japan’s Mitsubishi-owned Tabeer LNG terminal have been in the pipeline for a long time.
The projects were supposed to be commissioned in 2021 on a BtB model, but have yet to take off due to red tape.
“The ministry is working on the issue as the government wants more LNG terminals on the BtB model,” Energy Minister Muhammad Ali said. The news.
According to energy ministry officials, the Petroleum Directorate has wasted five years to set up LNG terminals. At the same time, it could not lay another RLNG pipeline from Karachi to Lahore (North-South or Pakistan Gas Stream Pipeline).
Both PTI and PDM governments have failed to develop infrastructure to support RLNG import. Under the existing scenario, the government has signed contracts with the existing two LNG terminals — Pakistan Gas Port Limited Terminal (PGPL) and Engro Elengy Terminal (Private) Limited (EETL) with government guarantees against the import of 1.2 bcfd per ‘ upper limit.
However, if Pakistan wishes to import more RLNG, then it would need more terminals and a pipeline.
The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) board has allocated pipeline capacity to the Energas terminal and signed the GTA, the official said. However, approval for the pipeline capacity from the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) board is still pending and consequently the GTA could not be signed.
Additionally, the official said incomplete third party access (TPA) documentation related to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority is also causing delays. Intermediate pipeline capacity has become necessary due to incomplete OGRA-TPA documents.
“The network code, which is vital to the operation of the network, also remains incomplete, with no progress towards its finalization.”
When contacted, SNGPL said the ECC in its meeting on October 27, 2021 has allotted pipeline capacity to Energas on the SNGPL network.
The natural gas supplier added that its board of directors in December 2021 gave approval in principle to execute the Access Agreement with Energas and it was wrong to blame them.
SNGPL, after the approval of the Board, shared the final draft of the Access Agreement with Energas in January 2022 and again in August 2022 for their signatures. Energas, however, did not sign the document and insisted on signing only the Distribution Agreement.
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