KARACHI: Two more liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals will be set up at the Port Qasim with a cumulative capacity of one billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), PQA Chairman Agha Jan Akhtar expressed hope that the addition of these terminals would help end the shortage of gas in the country.
Of the two, the Fauji Foundation will build a terminal with a capacity of 600 million cubic feet (mmcfd) while the second terminal of 400mmcfd capacity will be built by a Gulf emirate investor.
Downplaying the opposition and criticism surrounding the import of LNG, he said Singapore met up to 70 per cent of its energy requirements through LNG imports.
He added that a coal terminal at the port would also start functioning by the end of this year and it would cater to the needs of power plants located at Port Qasim only.
However, he said that a 660-megawatt, coal-fired power plant at Sahiwal would be given special right to use the terminal. He added that four million tonnes of coal would be needed daily to run this plant for which five cargo trains loaded with coal would be operating from the port to Sahiwal.
The PQA chairman said Pakistan Railways have already entered into an agreement with a Chinese company for buying wagons needed to haul coal from Port Qasim to up-country areas.
“The Port Qasim has become the lifeline of the country from where energy-related infrastructure and supplies would meet the country’s needs because a power plant of 1,320MW at the port would start functioning by December 2017 and another power plant with 660MW by March 2018,” he said.
Two Pakistani private companies — Lucky and Siddiqsons — were also setting up power plants at Port Qasim with a capacity of 330MW and 600MW, respectively, he added.
Appreciating the turnaround achieved by the Pakistan Railways, Mr Akhtar said that up to last year only five cargo trains used to move out from Port Qasim per month. However, three cargo trains were operating from the port daily at present, he said.
The chairman said that increased handling of containers by Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) at the Port Qasim and functioning of LNG terminal helped increase port’s revenue from Rs7 billion a year to Rs12bn.
On the complaints of FPCCI members about land issues, the PQA chairman suggested that a committee should be set up for sorting out the issues because the port authorities would give land to only genuine investors.