Pakistan’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plan has received a major blowback after ExxonMobil exited the project. The Port Qasim project in Karachi consists of a six-member group including Total French oil, and Japan’s Mitsubishi.
The difference among the groups may become the cause for them to leave the project after Exxon’s exit. Exxon pulled out of the project because it had “issues with partners”.
According to estimates, only 10-20 percent of the outcome will be achieved due to the differences and disagreements between the members. The project was Pakistan’s third and biggest by import capacity, said a Pakistani government official.
Estimates show that imports of LNG, by 2022, can increase to 30 million tonnes per annum (mpta). Pakistan’s extensive pipelines grid, high demand of LNG for industrial use and gas-powered vehicles makes Pakistan a big consumer of LNG.
The floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) will be included in the project which will convert LNG into gas before feeding it to the country’s grid and pipelines.
Hasil Bizenjo, Pakistan’s Maritime Affairs Minister in charge of ports, said that Exxon is now negotiating to become a part of another project. Mr. Bizenjo said, “They are thinking to build a new terminal in Port Qasim”. The other members of the LNG project are also taking part in another project.
LNG imports have changed Pakistan’s energy map. Pakistan will not suffer gas shortage in winters after 10 years if the second LNG terminal proceeds without any issues. Second LNG import terminal is planned to be operational by the end of this year, according to government officials.