Pakistan building 2nd terminal to import Qatar LNG

A senior Pakistani official tells Oil & Gas Middle East that the country plans to build 'at least' two more floating terminals

Zahid Muzaffar, chairman of the state-owned Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd. (ITP Photography/Grace Guino)
Zahid Muzaffar, chairman of the state-owned Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd. (ITP Photography/Grace Guino)

Pakistan has set to work to build a second floating terminal in the south to increase the country’s gas import capabilities and to complement the recently signed LNG import deal with Qatar, according to a senior official.

Speaking to Oil & Gas Middle East on the sidelines of the 7th Gulf Intelligence UAE Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi in January, when negotiations between Qatar and Pakistan was (still) in its advanced stages, Zahid Muzaffar, chairman of the state-owned Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd. (OGDCL), and an advisor to Pakistan’s Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry said the country is in the process of bidding for a second Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) or floating LNG terminal.

“We are getting our second terminal and are in the process of pre-qualifying the bidders soon,” Muzaffar revealed.

The terminal is to be built near to the Elengy LNG terminal - Pakistan’s first ever import terminal - at Port Qassim in the country’s largest city Karachi. It is expected to be operational by mid-2017, according to Muzzafar.

In April 2015, the Elengy terminal received its first commissioned LNG cargo vessel from Qatargas, at a time when the Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO) had a spot buying deal with Qatargas, and was eyeing a deal to buy 1.5mn tonnes of LNG annually, with scope for the volume to increase over time.

Qatar and Pakistan last week signed a long-term natural gas deal, as part of which Qatargas will supply PSO with up to 3.75mn tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year for 15 years.

As part of the deal, which has been valued at a total of $16bn, Qatar is to meet about 20% of the energy-starved South Asian country's gas requirements, and the first cargo is expected to dock at a Pakistani port as early as this month.

However, considering the volume of LNG import from Qatar, Pakistan is looking to build more terminals to improve its storage and distribution capacities. “That (second LNG terminal project in Karachi) is not enough for us. We are looking at building at least two more terminals,” Muzaffar said.

Jam Kamal Khan, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources also told Oil & Gas Middle East that authorities are mulling another terminal in the strategic Gwadar port area in the southwest, and is in government-to-government basis talks with the China for getting a subsidiary company of the state-owned oil giant China National Petroleum Corporation or CNPC, on board for the project.

Also in the planning stages, the minister said, was a pipeline project to deliver LNG from Gwadar to Karachi, also the financial hub of the country.


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