TAPI gas pipeline: Only Turkmenistan offered strategic commitment: Musaddiq

Source: Business Recorder

ISLAMABAD: Federal government has received a strategic commitment from Turkmenistan for the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline but no offer has so far been received from Russia or other Central Asian countries under government-to-government cooperation.

Talking to a select group of media persons, Minister of State for Energy Musaddiq Malik said that he was engaged with Central Asian countries for supply of gas and laying of pipeline infrastructure in Pakistan.

“Only Turkmenistan has offered Pakistan a strategic commitment for construction of TAPI and it is also engaged with Afghanistan which will receive fee more than their annual budget,” the minister said.

But, he said no commercial contracts would sign for oil and gas supply with any foreign companies which would come under international sanctions.

Responding to a question regarding the ongoing gas load-shedding and low gas pressure across the country, he said the Petroleum Division would implement smooth supply of gas to domestic and slum areas by curtailing gas supply to mega commercial, general industry in the coming winter.

The situation of gas in winter would be worsened as LNG was expensive, local production for Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) was already depleted to 680 mmcfd against a demand of 950 mmcfd for November-December-January when mercury drops.

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For controlling the domestic sector’s UFG at the distribution stage, both gas companies-the SNGPL, the SSGC, would install TBS across the country and head of each TBS would provide a statement of profit/ loss each month to keep a check on line losses and theft. “Additional gas meters, 3000 to 4000, will be purchased through bidding for SNGPL as SSGC has installed 75 percent TBS meters in its franchises,” he added. He said the plan would be finalised in couple of weeks and the task would be completed in three months.

He further said that the UFG in Balochistan was very high and the management of SSGC would come up with a plan.

The Petroleum Division was also engaged with the business community of Karachi to find out a solution for the supply of gas to the industry in the megacity. “Also we are in consultation with APTAMA Lahore and then Faisalabad to implement gas load management plan”, he added.

“We will also import 20,000 LPG each month and distribute it to tail-end consumers and remote areas of SNGPL. But restaurants and commercial units can also avail the offers”, he said.

He said four state-owned companies SNGPL, SSGC, PSO, and Pearl Parco have started the business of LPG, and next year more LPG would be imported.

He further said that no GST would be imposed on petroleum products till petroleum levy (PL) rates would gradually reach to Rs50 per litre on petrol, HSD, kerosene oil, and LDO.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022