ISLAMABAD (Reuters) The government has invited expressions of interests from foreign and domestic companies for the supply of 500 million cubic feet per day (cfd) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for up to 10 years to feed its crumbling power sector, officials said on Thursday. The government has set a deadline of June 27 for the submission of expression of interests with an aim the supply must be started in the first or second quarter of 2012. Pakistan's Supreme Court last year scrapped a government deal to buy LNG from French company GDF Suez because of suspected irregularities. "Anybody can come. He can bring LNG. We will just put their gas into our system for their buyers," Secretary Ministry of Petroleum Mohammad Ejaz Chaudhry told Reuters. "It is an open field for anyone who has buyers." Chaudhry said a winning company would itself set up a terminal in Pakistan for re-gasification of LNG and the government would determine the price of the gas through its Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority. "The government is not providing any guarantees. It is just facilitating," he said. The government has assigned its subsidiary, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), to pipe re-gasified LNG to domestic customers. "All the finances will be arranged by the LNG developer. There won't be our investment. We would charge a transportation tariff for this service," SSGC spokesman, Zuhair Siddiqui, said. Energy-starved Pakistan needs gas to feed its power sector as it faces a shortfall that often peaks at 5,000 megawatts per day in summer. The country has been facing lengthy power outages for several years, which often trigger protests and add to the worries of the pro-US government that is fighting rising al Qaeda-linked militancy on its soil. Pakistan relies on oil for most of its power needs and imports about 80 percent of its oil. It spent about $3.99 billion on the import of 6.9 million tonnes of petroleum products and $2.45 billion on 4.3 million tonnes of crude oil in the first seven months of the July 2010 to June 2011 financial year. Early this month, Pakistan's second Chinese-made 330 MW nuclear reactor started generating power. China is also building two more units with the same capacities at Chashma nuclear plant in Punjab province. The projects are, however, not scheduled to be completed until 2017. Analysts say import of LNG is the best possible short-term option for the government to cope with the growing energy crisis.