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No link between LNG crisis, domestic gas shortage: Hammad Azhar

Hammad Azhar shared an agreement would be finalized with Russia for supplying LNG. Source: FILE.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar has said that procurement of Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is not linked to the gas shortage as it is not provided to domestic consumers.

While speaking to a private news channel, Hammad Azhar said that there is a gas shortage in Pakistan every year as gas demand for households multiples three times in winter, leading to shortage and forcing the government to set a preference of gas supply that included domestic consumers as the top priority followed by industries.

The minister suggested moving towards alternate resources to fulfill energy needs. While delinking domestic gas shortage with LNG crisis, Hammad Azhar said that households receive gas supply from local resources and imported LNG is provided to power plants and factories due to its higher cost.

He lamented that an anchor of a private channel deliberately led a disinformation campaign and challenged him to hold a live debate with him over the matter in the presence of a neutral moderator and industry experts.

The minister said that the government had added electricity to the power system and at the end of their tenure would have 28,000MW electricity as compared to 20,800 MW when they took charge. He said the power system is currently operating at 24,700 MW.

READ MORE: Hammad Azhar challenges TV anchor to debate on gas crisis

He further rejected the impression regarding the purchase of 14 LNG cargos and said that as per the agreement they could buy only 12 cargos of 4.5 million ton LNG. “A lie was spread that 14 cargos could be purchased,” he said.

Hammad Azhar shared an agreement would be finalized with Russia for the supply of LNG soon. He said the PML-N claims to have established two LNG terminals but due to their hasty decision, the government is forced to pay Rs80 million on daily basis to both terminals.

He announced that the incumbent government aims to set up two terminals by 2023 but would refrain from any hasty decisions to not overburden the masses as done by the PML-N regime. The energy minister further said that there are no chances of electricity prices going down in 2022 or 2023.

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