KOHAT - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday said with the abundant natural gas reserves and improved security situation, Pakistan offered ample opportunities of investment in this sector of economy to local and foreign companies.

The prime minister was addressing a ceremony here after inaugurating a US$ 150 million Tolanj Gas Processing Plant that will produce 20 million cubic feet gas per day, besides contributing 31 million dollars revenue annually to the national kitty.

The processing facility was commissioned on December 5, 2017.

It had commenced production from Tolanj X-1 and Tolanj West-1 gas wells in Kohat, a leap step forward towards making Pakistan self-sufficient in energy sector.

The prime minister lauded MOL Pakistan's support in meeting Pakistan's energy requirements, besides its valuable contribution towards investment and generating employment opportunities in the country.

The gas processing facility will immensely help make a direct positive effect on the overall industrial growth, development of infant industries and socio-economic conditions of people of this region.

He said Tolanj gas facility, being a classic example of public-private partnership, was a major headway in meeting the growing energy demands of people and industries of Pakistan.

The prime minister said Pakistan was making great progress in all spheres of life due to his government's prudent economic and energy policies and the long inherited problem of load shedding was successfully addressed.

He recalled that when the present PML-N government took over in 2013 the country was facing acute gas and electricity shortages but now every sector including the domestic consumers as well as the industry were getting gas supply. Similarly, the prime minister maintained, the issue of electricity shortages had also been addressed to a large extent due to government’s efforts.

He said the government was encouraging business groups, corporate entities and foreign investors to take full advantage of the facilities offered by his government and bring investment in Pakistan.

Abbasi said Tolanj gas processing facility was the largest gas project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and would help better the gas supply in the area.

He appreciated MOL Pakistan for heavy investment in the country and making this project a success story, which he termed a ‘win-win’ for all. It was an efficient and modern plant, he added.

The premier hoped that other companies would also benefit from the MOL’s successful experience and ventures in Pakistan. He further hoped that MOL would continue to invest in Pakistan.

He also thanked the KP governor as well as the provincial government for their cooperation in the project.

Executive Vice President Upstream MOL Pakistan Dr Berislav Gaso said his group had already invested over one billion dollars in oil and gas sectors in Pakistan and its direct subsidiary oil and gas companies were working in this country since 1999 and were significantly contributing in the development of Pakistan.

For nearly two decades, he said, MOL Pakistan was playing a pro-active role in Pakistan oil and gas sector and had been contributing through its funds in order to help mitigate the problem of energy shortfall.

“With the launch of Tolanj facility,” he said, “We are looking forward to make more large-scale investment in this country with cooperation of government of Pakistan.”

MOL’s regional adviser Middle East, Africa and Pakistan Ali Murtaza Abbas appreciated PM Abbasi's commitment in strengthening and streamlining the energy sector of the country.

He said inauguration of the Tolanj facility was a great achievement and historic day for people of KP especially for Kohat.

CEO MOL Pakistan Graham Balchin said the plant had successfully started operation after thorough inspection and re-testing of its all components.

He said these measures had given immense confidence to all stakeholders for safe, sustainable and long term operations of this plant and commended teams and engineers for its successful operations.

The prime minister, who was accompanied by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engr Iqbal Zafar Jhagra formally inaugurated the plant by unveiling the plaque.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Islamabad and MOL Pakistan were also present on the occasion who briefed the PM about salient features of this gigantic project.

Earlier upon arrival in Kohat, Abbasi was warmly received by KP governor and other senior officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and MOL Pakistan.