LNG sector’s opening to revive CNG industry

ISLAMABAD (APP): Central leader of All Pakistan Compressed Natural Gas Association (APCNGA) Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said the government had laid the foundation of the CNG industry’s complete revival by allowing private sector players to participate in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) business.

“The present government has taken a key step towards revival of the CNG industry that was once considered the country’s one of biggest sectors when 3.7 million petrol and diesel-run vehicles were switched over to it [CNG] and millions of people got employment. Foundation of its revitalization has been laid with opening up the LNG sector,” he said while talking to APP. Paracha, who is also CEO of Universal Gas Distribution Company (UGDC), said the date for private LNG import, mainly for CNG stations, would be announced within the next few weeks.

With promotion of the CNG industry, he expressed confidence that environmental pollution and public transport charges would come down significantly, investment amounting to Rs400 billion to pour in the business of latest CNG equipment during next five years and approximately 800,000 people would get jobs.

He said latest CNG kits giving 15 percent extra mileage would now be available in the country, which were currently in the test phase. “Samples of the equipment have arrived and are being tested in 10 vehicles, which are proving extra efficient as compared to previous ones.”

He said the specialty of the new kits was that they would work on dual injectors like EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) engines and give better pick as compared to other fuels.

“Setting of this equipment in vehicles will be performed through a mobile app and there will be no need of going to any workshop,” he added.

He was of the view that more vehicles would switch over to CNG as APCNGA was in process of negotiations with motor manufacturers and assemblers for installation of the latest CNG kits in their vehicles.

Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has recently granted the first-ever marketing licences to two companies for undertaking regulated activities with regard to the sale of natural gas and LNG, under the ease-of-doing-business plan introduced by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.

Besides it issued two ‘provisional licences’ of supplying LNG through cryogenic bowzers to consumers especially where the regular gas transmission network does not exist.

The authority allowed Tabeer and Energas companies for the regulated activity of the sale of natural gas and LNG for an initial period of 10 years, subject to fulfillment of execution of Gas Transportation Agreements with Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), service agreements for metering/ billing to the consumers and safety issues, LNG supply agreements, besides signing of contracts with LNG terminal operators.

Whereas, the ‘provisional licences’ were issued to the LNG Easy (Private) Limited and Daewoo Gas Private Limited’ companies to pursue the LNG virtual pipeline project for supply of the commodity through cryogenic bowzers.

The provisional licences would enable the virtual pipeline companies to complete all formalities under rules and apply for carrying out LNG regulated activities in the country.

The new licences would help encourage healthy competition in the gas market, support the national economic growth and ensure a reliable supply of energy to the consumers of natural gas throughout a year across the country.