Islamabad: Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr. Asim Hussain assured that Government is committed to facilitate and provide equal opportunities to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) suppliers in the country and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources will ensure that a level playing field is provided so that the beneficial impacts trickle down to the common man. He said this while chairing a high level meeting in which LNG import issues were discussed here in Islamabad today. The meeting was also attended by Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources Division Mr. Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, Managing Director Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), representatives of Port Qasim Authority, Federal Board of Revenue and senior officers of the ministry.
It was decided in the meeting to establish a Task Force headed by the Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Resources, as part of the Government incentive in the LNG Policy 2006 (clause 7.4) and to facilitate the implementation of LNG import projects. Other members of the Task Force would be Additional Secretary of Finance, Defence, Industries, Production, Ports and Shipping Divisions, a representative of OGRA, Member (Customs)-FBR, Chairman of the concerned seaport authority, Director Generals of the concerned EPA, Coast Guards and Maritime Security Agency and Commander Karachi or COMCOAST Gawadar. This Task Force will act as a “one-stop-shop” to address all issues concerning LNG import projects, including the interpretation of policies and regulations.
It was decided in the meeting that LNG importers would be facilitated under the one window operation concept and comprehensive facilities would be provided. First come – first serve principle be adopted and bidders would be allowed to participate in partnerships. Successful bidders will have to find LNG buyers by themselves, however, the Government will provide facilitation in this regard and the bidders would have exclusivity.
Issues relating to pipeline system, pricing and minimization of wastage were also discussed in the meeting.
It may be recalled that Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has received tremendous interest from local and international suppliers in response to its invitation for the import of LNG under Third Party Access, having received 17 ‘Expressions of Interest’ (EoIs) for the allocation of capacity under its transmission system from leading companies interested in developing their own LNG Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU), arrange their own supply of LNG and having their own buyers of re-gasified LNG (RLNG) which also may include the Sui Companies.
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