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Failure in newly inaugurated LNG terminal disrupts gas supply

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News Analysis |

Pakistan’s second liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification terminal at Port Qasim has suffered a severe technical fault. The emergency mechanism was deployed to avert any major disaster only two weeks after its inauguration by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

It has apparently experienced a fault in its underground pipeline, which has failed to inject re-gasified LNG into the system.

According to media reports, ships carrying LNG were waiting to make a delivery at the floating storage. But due to some technical fault, the incident ruptured the underwater pipeline. It has put a serious question mark on the ability and quality of the pipeline to sustain pressure while building the pressure from the LNG from the shipment.

Experts believe that the repair work on the pipeline will take at least ten days to complete.

Using CPEC funding that is committed towards establishing energy and power projects according to official sources from APP, 7000 MW was added to the national grid in the last 4 years.

It can be termed as an infrastructure failure that has prompted shipments to be either cancelled or diverted. It is believed that Pakistan is in talks with suppliers to potentially delay, divert or declare force majeure on deliveries until the problem is fixed.

Some analysts have shown reservations on the quality of floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) and the pipeline infrastructure. The failure of the system in such an early phase of its operation raises doubts about its long-term ability, and testing procedure adopted by the company before its formal inauguration.  

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The second LNG terminal has the handling capacity and is completed with an investment of $500 million. There are plans to build another such LNG terminal in the future with the same cost. Moreover, two more LNG-terminals are also expected to be built at Port Qasim.

While addressing the inauguration ceremony, PM Abbasi claimed that the incumbent government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) had pursued power to avert the energy crisis and put back on track the reckless economy of Pakistan. He expressed the government’s determination to resolve the issue of energy and fulfill the growing demands of the energy.

The emergency mechanism was deployed to avert any major disaster only two weeks after its inauguration by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The government has claimed on a number of occasions of addressing the crises head-on. Nevertheless, some glitches remain as the country continues to face energy shortfall. After the first terminal at Port Qasim, this second terminal has been a milestone for a country suffering from acute energy crises. This new terminal is expected to reduce the gas load shedding in winter. Moreover, three more LNG based power plants will be constructed in Punjab to ensure the adequate supply of the LNG processed from the second LNG terminal at Port Qasim.

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Though according to the PM, the government played only a role of facilitator and regulator, as it must have inspected the operational capability and performance of infrastructure developed.

After the first terminal at Port Qasim, this second terminal has been a milestone for a country suffering from acute energy crises.

Since a private company, Pakistan GasPort limited had completed the project and it was termed a success story by the PM, the government should seek a report on testing procedures. Using CPEC funding that is committed towards establishing energy and power projects according to official sources from APP, 7000 MW was added to the national grid in the last 4 years.

LNG is the cheapest fuel available in the market, and can aptly satisfy the domestic and commercial consumers. The government expects to solve the ongoing crises through gas imports, which is needed due to the growing demands, and help the ailing economy to expand considerably in the future.


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1 COMMENT

  1. How LNG and Gases supplied from Sui Gas and other fields in Pakistan are being mixed together and pumped into same pipe line from South to north. Or there are separate lines for LNG and Other Gases being pumped from south to north. I would like to have some comments from SNGPL and SSGPL or some expert(s)
    Thankx
    Yours
    M Azhar
    92 322 2279939

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