(January 12, 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 the government should not make its own LNG terminal as it would be a mistake resulting in heavy losses.
He said that construction of a new terminal should be allowed and some extension in the existing terminals should be allowed so that a gas crisis could be avoided in the next winter as the new terminal cannot be completed before 2023.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government should allow some expansion in the existing terminals and expedite the process of building new terminals so that the problem of gas shortage in the country can be resolved.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that at present the government, Energas, and Tabeer are interested in constructing LNG terminals while the existing infrastructure and pipeline can only bear the load of one terminal.
The government should step out of the race and allow the private sector to construct a terminal so that more work can be done in less time and the supply of gas to consumers at a reasonable price can be ensured.
He said that government officials have already done a lot of damage to the gas sector and their incompetence has cost the private sector and the national treasury billions of dollars.
He said that the existing terminal owners also wanted an extension that should be allowed to avoid a crisis next winter as the new terminal could not be built before 2023. It should also be noted that competition in the LNG market will benefit consumers while government intervention delays progress, resulting in increased gas prices and escalating complaints.
Sui Gas companies may lose out on important customers because of the new terminals therefore, investors should be insulated from gas bureaucracy, otherwise, construction of a new terminal and making it operational will become a dream.
Foreign investors are demanding transparency in this matter to avoid troubles and litigation and their concerns should be addressed without further delay.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that some companies are interested in supplying gas to consumers through tankers in Karachi which should be allowed to operate.
This will improve the energy situation in the country’s economic center and Pakistan’s energy security can be ensured.