US to help Pakistan acquire LNG

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ISLAMABAD - The United States has agreed to fund an international consultancy to assist Pakistan in acquiring liquefied natural gas to overcome its energy shortage.

This decision was taken at the fourth meeting of the US-Pakistan Energy Working Group held here on Friday. It was co-chaired by the US Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs‚ Ambassador Carlos Pascual, and Water and Power Secretary Nargis Sethi and Petroleum Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan.The working group meeting is part of an ongoing bilateral engagement to help Pakistan address its energy sector challenges, including power generation, fuel, gas, and reform priorities.

Adviser to the PM on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain also co-chaired a session during the meeting.At the conclusion of the meeting, it was announced that the US would fund an LNG consultancy firm, which will commence before the end of the year and assist Pakistan government in the terms and assessment of liquefied natural gas supply and delivery from international suppliers.The effort will speed the procurement process, saving the govt the expense of fuel oil imports that are currently used to generate much of the nation’s electricity. The consultancy will also provide market analysis and technical assistance to the govt’s implementer of LNG imports. The US is already helping Pakistan to add 900MW electricity to the national grid by next year – enough to supply electricity to an estimated 2 million households. The projects include renovating Tarbela Dam power plant‚ modernising the generators of Mangla Dam‚ upgrading Guddu‚ Jamshoro and Muzafaragarh power plants, besides construction of Satpara and Gomal Zam dams.US technical assistance is also supporting crucial policy and management reforms underway in Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power.

The reforms are focused both on reducing technical losses on the power grid and on increasing collections.“Today, the United States government and the Government of Pakistan launched a new initiative to help Pakistan acquire liquefied natural gas more efficiently,” said Ambassador Pascual at the ceremony, “This initiative shows that the US and Pakistan are working together on concrete actions to relieve Pakistan’s shortage of electricity. It will accelerate the liquefied natural gas procurement process and offer a cheaper alternative to Pakistan’s current fuel oil imports.

”Earlier, during the Working Group meeting, Secretary Nargis Sethi highlighted the need of an improved and sustained governance structure as a key element for a sustainable power sector and presented an overview of the steps taken so far. Special Envoy Pascual welcomed the Pakistani government’s commitment to the reforms in governance and finance sectors, efficiency of the power sector, and attracting private sector investment in energy production and distribution.He also welcomed Pakistan’s adoption of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Policy-2012, noting that it has the potential to attract and boost investment in exploration throughout Pakistan. Secretary Water and Power expressed her appreciation for the US assistance extended under the power distribution improvement project and the energy efficiency programs.


Courtesy: The Nation

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