(January 26, 2022)
Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said construction of new gas terminals and expansion in the existing terminals should be made conditional to the gas storage facility.
He said that the private sector should be allowed to import gas and state-run gas companies should be required to set up gas storage facilities across the country in order to avoid a crisis in case of shortage of gas or interruption in supply.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the demand for gas in the country has been steadily increasing while the local gas supply has been declining at an annual rate of 9% which is affecting domestic, commercial and industrial consumers.
The demand for gas decreases in summer while its price in the world market also decreases which can be imported and stored so that it can be used during the winter, he said.
He said that gas is also stored along with oil in many countries; Pakistan has the capacity to store oil for 20 days but there is no capacity to store even one hour of gas which affects energy security.
The United States has had enough gas reserves for ten years, In Europe, Germany and then Italy have the largest gas reserves while Japan, China and India are also showing good activity in this regard, he informed.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that in the past, suggestions regarding gas storage have never been taken seriously which is a reason behind energy uncertainty.
He further said that at present the demand for gas in the country is 6 billion cubic feet per day while production is 3.8 billion cubic feet per day and .11 billion cubic feet per day LNG is being imported which can be imported cheaply in summer.
LNG can be stored to protect consumers from any emergencies or fluctuations in the global market therefore there is an urgent need to build new terminals, expand old terminals, stop conspiracies against business groups seeking to import gas, bring back oil and gas exploration companies that have left the country, and reform state-owned gas companies so that energy security can be ensured.