Pakistan’s LNG imports surge; floats tender for five more consignments

KARACHI: Pakistan’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports surged 33 percent in December 2018, while the government has floated another tender inviting bids for five LNG consignments of 140,000 cubic meters each for March-April 2019 on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis at Port Qasim Karachi.
Pakistan is fast developing LNG import and regasification terminals, as the country switches to LNG import addiction from oil import addiction.
Monthly oil & LNG imports registered a decline of 11 percent to 1,849K tons during Dec’18, as compared to 2,085K tons during Dec’17. Country imported zero quantity of furnace oil (FO) during Dec’18. In addition to this, imports of HSD and crude oil also declined by 50 percent and 13 percent, respectively. However, LNG and MoGas imports increased by 33 percent and 21 percent, respectively
The first delivery window for LNG cargo is from March 03-04, the second from March 17-18, third from April 02-03, fourth from April 13-14 and the fifth from April 26-27 2019 for spot purchase. The bids will be opened on January 30, 2019.
It may be mentioned here that PLL had invited bids for three 140,000 cubic meters of LNG supplies in its last tender issued in November 2018.
On a cumulative basis, total petroleum sales volume declined by 29.6 percent in July-December2019 to settle at 9.3 million tons as compared to 13.2 million tons in the same period last year, which was largely due to decline in HSD and FO sales.
Pakistan relies on natural gas to meet almost 50 percent of its energy needs but its proven gas reserves have dwindled in recent years, as consumption has outweighed new discoveries. Early LNG imports have been substituting for domestic gas, but the intention is to raise the share of gas in the nation’s energy mix by reducing the use of polluting and inefficient furnace oil and expensive diesel oil as power station fuels and increasing LNG purchases.
Six additional LNG import projects have been proposed for Pakistan by ExxonMobil, Shell, Trafigura, Total, Mitsubishi and Bahria Foundation. Most are planned for Port Qasim locations. If only four of the new schemes come to fruition, annual LNG deliveries to the country could reach 30 mta by 2025.

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