Pakistan announces changes to its LNG policy
Pakistan on August 19 made changes in its LNG policy by removing the clause that required upcoming private LNG import terminals to provide some part of the capacity to the government.
According to local media reports, the decision has been taken to allow Qatar to invest in the Pakistani LNG supply chain. Dawn reported that the clause was a "key sticking point". The Competition Commission of Pakistan in November last year cleared QatarEnergy’s bid to acquire 49% stakes in a proposed LNG import and regasification terminal. The Pakistani prime minister Shahbaz Shariff is scheduled to visit Qatar next week.
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The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet argued that the gap between gas supply and demand in the country is widening resulting in gas load management affecting economic activities.
“Under the circumstances and to diversify the LNG import infrastructure, there is a need to support and encourage foreign/private investment in the new LNG terminals at their own costs and risks to meet the growing demand of RLNG [regasified LNG] in the country,” the government said in a statement.
“Considering the objectives of attracting investment in LNG import terminal facilities, the ECC approved the proposal to exclude new LNG terminals and associated facilities from the application of third party access and allowed amendment in article 6.2(a) of LNG policy, 2011,” it added.
Pakistan currently operates two LNG terminals, both at Port Qasim.