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Qatar reaches agreement to set up LNG terminal in Karachi

Energas, a merchant terminal, is currently owned by three local business groups. Source: Twitter.

KARACHI: Qatar, the world’s top supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), will invest in an import terminal in a bid to provide fuel to the country.

A video conference was held today between Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi and Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi along with his team. Secretary Maritime Affairs, Secretary Petroleum, Chairman OGRA and other relevant stakeholders participated in the video conference.

Minister Al-Kaabi, who is also the President and CEO of Qatar Energy apprised the participants that oil company fully supports and will be a shareholder in one of the private sector LNG Terminals being set up at Port Qasim.

Both sides agreed to address all outstanding issues pertaining to the development of LNG terminals and finalize the FID by the end of January. Qatari Minister Al-Kaabi will visit Pakistan at the signing of implementation agreement. He also reiterated Qatar’s support to Pakistan in the LNG sector.

Qasim Terminal Holding, a subsidiary of Qatar Energy, has applied for clearance with Pakistan’s government to take a stake in Energas Terminal Pvt. Energas, a merchant terminal, is currently owned by three local business groups — Lucky, Sapphire and Halmore.

Energas is one of the two parties currently engaged with Pakistan government and its entities for development of additional LNG terminals against the existing two terminals.

The deal comes as Qatar plans to dramatically increase production over the next decade, which will require the Middle Eastern nation to find more buyers for its fuel. Qatar is already Pakistan’s largest gas supplier with its latest long-term deal slated to start this year.

Energas’ terminal will be the nation’s largest with a capacity to import 1 billion cubic feet of gas a year. Pakistan currently operates two LNG terminals, while Energas and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. are vying to build the nation’s first two private projects.

Pakistan is going to dominate LNG growth in emerging Asia along with Bangladesh and Thailand over the next five years. The three nations will almost double LNG imports over 2021-25.

Last month, the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) approved allocation of pipeline capacity to two new LNG terminal developers — Energas and Tabeer Energy — to facilitate their investment in the additional gas infrastructure. Tabeer Energy is a subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation.

While discussing a summary of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs on the report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the establishment of new terminals, the CCoE approved the allocation of pipeline capacity and directed to fast track the work on setting up new LNG terminals.

The meeting was informed that Petroleum Division and Sui gas companies continued to resist pipeline capacity to new terminal developers of the private sector. The Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority also directed Sui Gas companies to allocate 300-350mmcfd of pipeline capacity to the two terminal developers each in May this year.


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