FAISALABAD: The government of Pakistan should expedite the process for the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), with clear instructions to concerned quarters to complete the required infrastructure so that the first LNG consignment could reach Pakistan by the end of this year before the peak winter season, said Suhail Bin Rashid, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, on Friday.
Rashid said that Pakistan was facing an energy crisis with the main reason for short supply of electricity being the gas shortage. He said that efforts are being made to add maximum electricity to the national grid within the current year but, until now no practical steps have been taken to meet the shortfall of gas in the beginning of the winter season. He did, however, appreciate the government’s efforts to import LNG from Qatar or Saudi Arabia, but added that practical steps are needed to be taken in this direction
Rashids said that Pakistan’s demand for gas was expected to double in the next 10 years and current gas production at 4 billion cubic feet a day (BCFD) was less than the required 6 BCFD. At the current rate of growth, by 2020, the demand could touch 13 BCFD, he added.
He said that due to the shortfall, value-added textile units are either shut down or forced to reduce their production. This situation could create an embarrassing situation for the textile exporters who were unable fulfil their Christmas-related demands. This would also create a bad image to international community and buyers to switch over their export orders to other countries. He said that the government should take this issue as a challenge and pro-active policies should be adopted to import LNG before the shortfall season.
This would not only save the industrial sector from forced closures but also fulfil their foreign demands well in time. This is also imperative to avoid unemployment in the country. Government will also have additional revenue as the industrial sector will work on full capacity.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2014.