Pakistan likely to import 4 LNG cargos from Qatar

Signing a long-term agreement with Qatar could take a few more months, say sources

Bidding is now under way to construct a second LNG terminal at Port Qasim.
Bidding is now under way to construct a second LNG terminal at Port Qasim.

Pakistan is likely to import four more Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) cargoes from Qatar on the basis of Freight on Board (FoB) as finalisation of LNG supply agreement with Qatar may take a few more months, sources told The Business Recorder.

The value of the long-term agreement has been put at around $22.5bn and when finalised will supply Pakistan with LNG supplies that could last over 15 years.

The first loading of LNG cargo at Ras Laffan was scheduled for 19th April, with the other three due to be shipped in May and June.

Pakistan is looking to import 3mn tonnes of LNG a year, beginning this year, with much or all of that coming from Qatar.

Estimates suggest that the country’s overall LNG imports will rise to around 7mn tonnes annually within three years. However, it is not clear as yet how much of that higher total would be provided by Qatar, reports say.

Importing 3mn tonnes of LNG would cost around $1.5bn annually, or some $22.5bn over 15 years, given current global oil and gas prices, but that cost will fluctuate with the price of oil, which is also used to price LNG.

According to Pakistan's prime minister, LNG imports of 3mn tonnes would yield cost savings worth an annual $300mn.

By using LNG, Pakistan will be able to generate between 7% and 9% more power, as a result of its greater efficiency and by bringing currently dormant gas-fired power stations back to work, the minister said.

“LNG is more efficient and cleaner for the environment than the alternatives,” Abbasi said. “This is a major shift in our energy mix.”

The Pakistani public company Engro, which has stakes in petrochemicals and terminal storage industries, has built a terminal to import LNG at Port Qasim, set to become operational at the end of March, according to officials.

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