Pakistan lacks infrastructure to import LNG

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said that recent deal to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar is unfeasible.

The import agreement signed recently with Qatar is not practical as Pakistan lacks infrastructure to import LNG, it said.

Government has been trying to import LNG since years during which billions were spent on studies, hiring of experts, foreign tours and road shows disregarding the fact that Pakistani ports cannot host any LNG vessel, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Depth of water at Port Qasim and Kemari is 39 feet while the average depth of a loaded LNG carrier in the water is 45 to 48 feet.

The lightest LNG ship scarcely available is that of fifty thousand tonnes with 42 feet draught that cannot serve the purpose.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that before planning to import LNG, government should have initiated dredging (excavation activity to enable waterways navigable) which will cost 40 million dollar and take two years minimum.

Moreover, there is no degasification facility available in Pakistan which will take 24-30 months to be in place after spending 100 million dollars if work on it is initiated today, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal.

He added that country will also need a 50 km pipeline to connect degasification facility with SSGC main pipeline which will also require two years time and 30 million dollar in costs.

It is amazing that so far no tender has been issued for dredging, construction of degasification facility and laying connecting pipeline which means that those who have signed LNG deal are unaware of the ground realities or they are simply misguiding masses for personal gains, Dr. Mughal observed.


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