Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resou-rces, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Monday said the government has allowed installation of power plants on 46 gas fields with utilisation of 280 Million Cubic Feet per Day (mmcfd) of gas increasing power production by 1,000 megawatts.
Briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources here, the minister said the government will not be in a position to provide natural gas to the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations in Punjab from the next year and the CNG stations of the biggest province will have to rely on the imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to keep their business running.
The committee which met here to discuss and review the implementation status of recommendations made by the committee during the meetings from November 28, 2013 to May 15, 2014; on Petroleum Ministry and attached departments including PARCO, SSGCL, GSP and PPL. Chaudhry Bilal Ahmed Virk, Chairman, Standing Committee presided over the meeting, which was also attended by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum and other high officials of the Petroleum Ministry.
The minister said the government has allowed the CNG sector to use imported LNG for operating their business and if the CNG sector is going to start importing the commodity from January 2015 the government will allow them to do so. The minister said the government will try to facilitate the CNG sector and the fuel will remain 35 percent cheaper than petrol, adding that at present the government was facing serious problems in meeting the requirements of the domestic gas consumers as with the arrival of winter domestic sector’s demand has massively increased.
Abbasi said the government has started supplying power to the industrial sector as it was not in a position to continue gas supply to Punjab-based industries due to gas shortage. Briefing the meeting, Petroleum Secretary Abid Saeed said the Prime Minister has lifted a ban on new gas schemes and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) will increase the gas tariff for new schemes. He added that the Petroleum Ministry has forwarded summaries regarding reduction in prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to the Council of the Common Interests (CCI) and after the approval of the summaries the government will determine LPG prices. He said the government has decided to import 2 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) of LNG for which investors have submitted expressions of interest (EoIs).
It was revealed by the Management of SSCCL that the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan had declared the Implementation Agreement (IA) dated 12th August 2003 between Sui Southern Gas Company Limited and M/s JJVL, as “null and void”; vide its judgement dated 04 December, 2013. Consequent to the said judgement, an opinion was solicited from the company’s legal adviser on guidance/implications of the judgement. In view of the same, it was, suggested that, till a permanent mechanism for the operation of the plant (to ensure continuous supply of LPG to end consumers) is put in place; the parties may enter into an arrangement of their own, based on commercial consideration, subject to the approval of respective boards.
In the event if such mechanism is not reached upon, SSGC should approach the committee formed by the Hon’able Court in the said judgement, for resolution; and whereas, if the mechanism is agreed upon between the parties it should be brought to the notice of the committee, for information and compliance of the judgement. The SSGC management and the board are looking into the options in this regard, senior official of SSGCL further said.
While responding to a question put forth by a committee member, Secretary P&NR said the Prime Minister’s Office has given go ahead signal for the completion of half-completed projects of gas, pending in the constituencies of parliamentarians. Ogra has already given its approval in this respect. Issue of LNG was also discussed, and the committee was informed that first LNG terminal would be operational in the first quarter of 2015. The meeting was also attended by Malik Ihtebar Khan, Syed Muhammad Saqlain Bukhari, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Rana Muhammad Ishaq Khan, Rasheed Ahmed Khan, Chaudhry Khalid Javaid Warraich, Nawab Ali Wassan, Khan Khattak, Abdul Waseem, Sajid Ahmed and Pir Bux Junejo.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT