ISLAMABAD - Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Monday,said that price of Qatari Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) would go up to $17/mmbtu and its impact would be passed on to all categories of consumers except domestic.
He made this disclosure during a meeting of senate standing committee on petroleum & natural resources, which was held here under the chair of Senator Muhammad Yousaf to discuss the matters pertaining to impact of LNG import from Qatar at high price on country’s economy and possibility of completion of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project after the nuclear deal between Iran and the US.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi informed the meeting that price of Qatari Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) could go up to $17/mmbtu. However, impact of high price of per million British Thermal Unit (MMBTU) would not be passed on to domestic consumers while all remaining categories of consumers would find the equal impact of LNG price. And, price of gas would eventually go up for all categories of consumers other than the domestic. He also said that government is negotiating over the price from Qatar and so far nothing has been finalized. Final decision would be taken to get Qatari LNG at cheap price but on government level.
About the cost of construction of LNG terminal expected to be paid by the government, the minister told that not a single penny would be used in the construction of terminal while a private company after through competitive bidding would construct the LNG terminal contract in fifteen years. And, LNG terminal company would pay 0.66cent as charges over use of terminal.
Announcing to hold inquiry over the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in the previous tenure (Dec 2012) between Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and the US company - United LNG, the petroleum minister further alleged signing of MoU was illegal.
Upon this, Senator Jahangir Badar from PPP demanded from the government to hold independent and impartial inquiry to probe the matter because import of LNG at high price would fuel inflation in the country.
Expressing views on IP gasline project, federal minister also said that government is committed to the gas project and it would not let such a situation arise that Iran could impose penalty on Pakistan in case of failure to start work on IP project. Pakistan is facing hindrances due to sanctions from European Union and United Wtates. He also told the meeting that the instruments required for the construction of pipeline are manufactured by two major companies and both are not willing to give that machinery to Pakistan. In case of expectations of international sanctions no one is ready to work on the project, he added.
During the course of this meeting, Managing Director Inter state Gas Company limited (ISGC) briefed the meeting about the LNG terminal at Port Qasim. He said that LNG terminal would be constructed at the channel of LNG terminal Port Qasim and LNG import would start from November 2014 while 20crore cubic feet of LNG would be imported in the initial stage. And, 40crore cubic feet of LNG would be imported at late in the second phase.
The managing director of Inter state Gas Company limited further informed the Senate body that United States has made it clear that there is no policy change from US regarding IP project. And, by the end of this month meeting would be held between Pakistan and Iran to discuss the different technical aspects of the project and to formulate the way forward.