Islamabad, November 26th, 2021:- Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Abdul Qadir here at Parliament House on Friday.
Committee members expressed their displeasure and staged a token walkout against the constant absence of Minister In-charge in the committee meetings.
At the outset, Committee deliberated upon present status of Implementation of Third Party Access (TPA) to the private sector with regard to the use of LNG terminals.
Secretary Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) while briefing the committee said that the private Sector is engaged in development of 2 more LNG terminals. TPA Rules and Network codes have been developed to provide access to pipeline network to the Private Sector investors and consumers. We have laid a 42" dia 1100 KMs long RLNG pipeline. He further informed that Planning for another RLNG pipeline is in advanced stage to transport the imported volumes of RLNG from the upcoming LNG plants of the private sector.
Chairman Committee said that “Why don’t we let private businesses take responsibility of importing RLNG in the country. We should definitely go towards private parties for this purpose, In order to eliminate the impediments. so that burden on Government would be reduced and uninterrupted supply with lower RLNG price is ensured positively to save the state from loss of billions of rupees.”
On the question of Market liberalization in the LNG sector, Secretary Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) informed that Government is focusing on Private sector participation in the LNG supply chain, Development of new LNG import terminals in the private sector, Third-party access to LNG terminals and pipeline network, Construction of new gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore, Development of Gas Storage and LNG Virtual Pipeline. He said that Petroleum Division is also working on new LNG Policy for improved policy and regulatory framework with special focus on private sector participation in the LNG sector. Despite the fact that existing LNG terminals are running at peak capacities and utilization of terminals is way higher than global average, PLL is discussing the Third-Party Access to accommodate private sector. There are numerous legal, commercial/financial, operational and technical issues that need to be addressed for allowing TPA to private sector. Such as, Limited pipeline capacity and challenges in allocation of pipeline capacity from SSGCL and SNGPL, PQA ability to handle numbers of LNG vessels and night navigation for LNG vessels.
Secretary Petroleum was of the view that PPRA rules are not ideal for on spot procurement of RLNG supplies. PPRA rules should be amended.
Chairman Committee assured the officials that we will write to Finance Ministry on the matter. “We are here to help and we will do whatever we can to assist Ministry in this regard. This is not something which cannot be fixed” commented Chairman Committee Muhamad Abdul Qadir.
While discussing the problems faced by people of Quetta, Ziarat and other areas where the weather reaches below freezing point during winter, Chairman Committee said that people living in those areas should not be charged higher slab rates, as their consumption is high only during winter months of extreme cold. “People are being charged high just because of this slab formula. Appropriate measures should be taken to provide relief to these people. They cannot afford to pay the gas bills during these months.”
Chairman Committee suggested that Ministry officials should sit down with local representatives and devise a way out and introduce subsidized rates for these specific areas. Chairman committee directed officials to come up with a plan in the next meeting of the committee.
Committee meeting was attended by Senators, Afnan Ullah Khan, Saadia Abbasi, Fida Muhammad, Aon Abbas, Qurat Ul Ain Marri, Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Officials from Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), SSGC, SNGPL and PLL.