Naveed holds talks in London for LNG purchase

ISLAMABAD: Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Syed Naveed Qamar on Monday held meetings in London with international companies to finalise talks for the purchasing of 3.5 million tons of LNG annually.

Mr Qamar arrived in the UK capital on Sunday night to join a team of technical experts of the ministry of petroleum and natural resources, after international suppliers of liquefied natural gas had refused to come to Pakistan due to security concerns.

Mr Qamar met officials of Shell Gas, British Petroleum and Vitol of France and discussed details for entering into long-term contract for the supply of LNG.

The minister was expected to meet GDF Swiss and Mitsubishi Gas on Tuesday, an official in the petroleum ministry told Dawn on Monday.

The official said that Pakistan needed gas for power generation to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to industries, particularly to textile sector, in winters.

‘Pakistan is negotiating the LNG supply for 10 to 20 year period depending on the pricing formula,’ the official said and added that the talks also included barter of the LNG between and with the suppliers.

LNG is produced by processing and cooling the natural gas to as low as 162 degrees Celsius, when it liquefies. The LNG is exported to different locations on specialised ships which have LNG tanks that keep the temperatures at required low level.

However, due to transportation facility LNG is one of the fastest growing fuels in the world and obtaining long term contracts is getting difficult from the suppliers.

During his stay in London, the petroleum minister is also expected to enter into final round of negotiations with the Dutch company 4Gas, which has been issued LoI by the Sui Southern Gas Company to establish and operate LNG terminal and de-gasification plant for the Mashaal LNG project.

‘It would take around two years to establish a floating terminal in Karachi,’ said a member of the technical team, adding the land-based fixed terminal may take up to five years for becoming operational.

The international companies are likely to start supplying LNG by 2011, he added.


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