ISLAMABAD

The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government has demanded of the federal government to allocate 14.82 per cent share of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the province, it was learnt reliably here.

The province has also demanded the extension of the LNG pipeline from Lahore to Peshawar, an official source told The Nation on Sunday. “We didn’t ask for anything extra rather asked the federal government to provide us the provincial share in the NFC award,” the official maintained.

Although the government had convened a meeting, to be chaired by federal secretary for petroleum and natural resources on Monday, to resolve the issue but it was postponed, the official said, adding that the meeting will be rescheduled again.

The federal government will be paying for the LNG terminals and pipeline from the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC), and since all the provinces are contributing to the funds therefore every province must have share in the imported LNG, the official added.

The federal government plans to construct two gas-fired power plants (each having 1000MW to 1,200MW capacity) in the districts of Kasur and Jhang, while the government of Punjab is set to establish a similar project at Bhiki, a small town located on Sheikhupura-Faisalabad road.

LNG will be supplied to these power plants through 1100km North-South pipeline. Pakistan and Russia have already signed an agreement for laying a $2.5 billion pipeline to carry imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Karachi to Lahore. The North-South pipeline is capable of carrying 12.4bcm (billion cubic meters) per annum from the LNG terminals in Karachi to the consumption centres in Punjab.

The official said the KP has demanded the government not to terminate the pipeline in Punjab and extend it to Peshawar.

Article 158 of the constitution, related to the priority of requirements of natural gas, does not apply to the LNG. According to the Article 158, “The province, in which a well-head of natural gas is situated, shall have precedence over other parts of Pakistan in meeting the requirements from that well-head, subject to the commitments and obligations as on the commencing day.” Since no particular province can claim ownership of the gas (LNG) therefore every Pakistani has right over it, the official said.

“The KP is getting only 7 percent of the overall national natural gas supply and the province still need a lot of gas for its domestic as well as industrial sector,” the official said, adding that the province is planning to fulfil its requirements through 14.82 per cent share in imported LNG.

The GIDC bill, passed by the government in May this year, has enabled the government to have an access to about Rs100 billion lying in its account under the head of the GIDC. Beside the government had set a target of Rs145b GIDC collection for the current financial year.

The official further said that Sindh government has also serious reservations over the swap arrangement for the LNG imports and is demanding to take the issue to the Council of Common Interests (CCI).However, the official said that the issue may be settled in the meeting of the Inter Provincial Coordination Committee (IPCC).

It is pertinent to mention here that to meet the local gas demand Pakistan has started a multi-pronged strategy for the gas import, which includes the import of LNG and import of gas through pipelines from Iran and Turkmenistan.

According to the gas production and consumption data, Pakistan’s domestic gas production peaked in 2014 at 4,400 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), while demand exceeds 6,000 mmcfd in the peak winter season. It is projected that the country gas demand will rise to 8,000 mmcfd by 2022.