Pakistan to Import Qatar LNG

Pakistan to Import Qatar LNGPakistan to Import Qatar LNG

Energy-starved Pakistan is negotiating with Qatar to begin imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) early next year, Pakistan's petroleum minister said on Friday.

Pakistan is due to finish a terminal in January near the southern port city of Karachithat will initially handle 0.4 billion cubic feet of LNG per day (3.1 million tons per year), TradeArabia reported. It aims to import 0.6 billion cubic feet per day once a new pipeline dedicated to LNG is completed.

The South Asian country of 180 million people suffers from a serious power shortage. Power cuts can last up to 20 hours a day in some areas. "If extra gas comes into the system, it will change the entire economic structure of Pakistan," minister of state for petroleum Jam Kamal Khan told Reuters. Nearly half of Pakistan's electricity is generated by gas. The country produces around 4.1 billion cubic feet per day but needs around six billion, depending on the time of year. Pakistan has awarded a contract to build a second LNG terminal to government-controlled Sui Southern Gas Company and is considering building two more in the next two-and-a-half years, Khan said.