ISLAMABAD -  Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that gas has emerged as the most important fuel and Pakistan’s future is also linked to it.

Talking to Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Abdur Rauf Alam, who called on him here on Sunday, Abbasi said that now gas was the cheapest source for the power generation, overtaking hydel power; therefore several countries were converting their power plants on gas.

He said that quick import of gas from Iran and Turkmenistan was not possible while local production had been stagnant for the last 15 years. “Therefore we decided to import gas,” he reasoned.

Abbasi informed that the number of LNG terminals and re-gasification plants were being increased to tame the energy crisis, adding that hydel power cost three times more than the power obtained from gas under the current oil prices.

He said that only two countries, Pakistan and Somalia, were using RON 87 grade petrol. “While we continue to import world’s dirtiest diesel, but situation will change from January 2017,” he said, and added, “We will start importing diesel of Euro 2 standard.”

The minister said that Kuwait was a major oil producing country which was using imported LNG for production of electricity while Pakistan was producing 8000 megawatt of electricity from fuel.

Speaking on the occasion, FPCCI President Abdur Rauf Alam said that deregulation of CNG prices was a very wise decision of the government which will revive the CNG industry.

He said that the possibility of CNG business becoming viable only arose when the price difference with petrol was twenty percent minimum.

“The CNG being sold in liters and kilograms across the country need standardization,” he pointed out.

“We unconditionally support the initiatives of the government to increase the percentage of gas in the national energy mix,” said Alam.