ISLAMABAD - Malicious campaign unleashed against Akbar Associates (AA) that has led to denial of contract award for 2nd LNG Terminal at Port Qasim to it is aimed at thwarting government efforts to rein over crippling energy crisis by conspiring to delay the availability of RLNG for under construction three 1200 MW power plants.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab have repeatedly said that project would be completed in 2017 at every cost but certain black sheep in order to malign government are resorting to such tactics that project is delayed inordinately. AA had won the said contract for offering a much better and more efficient land based solution and it had presented.

It was alleged that that the credit worthiness certificate (CWC) issued by Burj Bank Islamabad which was presented by AA as part of their technical offer was fake.

The investigations carried out by FIA and State Bank of Pakistan into allegations proved that CWC was not false. The inquiry report was also submitted by FIA to Supreme Court wherein it was laid down in categorical terms that CWC was issued by Burj Bank’s F-8 Islamabad with the knowledge of its regional management.

It was said and accepted in SSGCL’s Procurement Committee Report dated June 22, 2015 that the Burj Bank CWC was neither considered nor was it relevant in determining the financial standing of AA led consortium and Akbar Associate’s bid was backed by equity commitments from credit worthy Chinese engineering firms which are foreign partners of the AA Consortium as well as multiple letters of intent from independent and reputable banks which did not include Burj Bank, such as bank of China.

The SSGCL report which was presented to Sindh High Court said that only charge of presentation of fake CWC on the basis of which Akbar Associates was being denied its lawful right to the contract has created serious issues of perception against winning bidder. The FIA report which is lying with Supreme Court clears this negative perception.

The project suggested by Akbar Associates will not only fetch $400 million in direct investment as against $70 million from a temporary and make shift floating terminal arrangement offered by PGPL-JJVL but it will also provide tremendous impetus to country’s LNG Import Infrastructure.