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Government prepares to reallocate LNG terminals to appropriate site

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Maritime Affairs has affirmed that the existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals have been positioned without any detailed study related to safety vulnerability, therefore, the government is preparing to reallocate these terminals to other appropriate sites with safety measures.

According to sources, the government has commissioned the Ministry of Maritime Affairs to prepare a cost-benefit analysis and a detailed study for shifting the existing LNG terminals to some other place, keeping safety in mind. It is also directed to carry out study in discussion with the Petroleum Division to evaluate the conditions for setting up new LNG terminals in the country.

Also, the ministry is consigned the duty of safety of ports and regulation of matters related to hazardous shipments.

In a latest meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), officials of the ministry stated that the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) board, in its meeting on May 7, 2011 and August 10, 2011, had acknowledged Jhari Creek as most suitable region for LNG terminals.

However, with reference to the previous records, no sovereign technical studies could be commenced till date. An independent study was suggested in order to make sure compliance with industrial safety principles and zero shock on standard port traffic. The committee was informed that the terminals were built on the main PQA channel adjacent to the proposal of the authority, which effected in overcrowding on all berths. Due to this, a major quantity of foreign exchange is being remunerated in demurrages.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs informed the meeting that the PQA board, in its meeting held on September 13, 2018, had accepted temporary allocation of two supplementary sites for LNG terminals, to which the PQA board was appealed to reassess it.

Also, the ministry had presented a commendation that the LNG Policy 2011 should be revised so as to replicate the NOC from the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), QRA study and the navigational simulation study executed on an appropriate locality selected by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and port authorities abiding the particular LNG zone covering sanctuary, safety, environmental and traffic features.

It is also observed, that the ministry also suggested that the recognized LNG import terminals for securing another gas supplies may be expelled from the purview of Pakistan LNG Terminals Limited (PLTL) under the Petroleum Division.

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