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PM says govt focusing on infrastructure development

August 28, 2017

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KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi speaks at the inauguration ceremony of the first LNG terminal at Port Qasim.—APP
KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi speaks at the inauguration ceremony of the first LNG terminal at Port Qasim.—APP

KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that his government is paying full attention to infrastructure development to facilitate people and boost economy.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the LNG terminal at Port Qasim on Sunday, he pointed out that the government had in a short time introduced the LNG as a cheap source of energy as the LNG terminal at Port Qasim had been completed in a record time of 330 days.

The prime minister said that with the import of LNG the national economy would save $1.5 billion annually while instead of importing costly furnace oil the use of cheap LNG would also save the foreign exchange.

He said the terminal built by Engro Terminal Ltd has the capacity of 660 mmscfb regasification which would not only meet the energy needs of industries but also provide relief to people and reduce dependence on producing costly energy.

Terming the terminal construction an extremely good omen, Mr Abbasi said that its impact on the overall economy would be pleasant as so far 100 ships of LNG had arrived with total imports of 6.1 million tonnes volume. Its import is facilitating the supply of RLNG to fertiliser, textile and other industries.

He said that the second LNG terminal would become operational in November while three more LNG terminals would be set up with the cooperation of the private sector and against the backdrop of energy crisis participation of private sector in building LNG terminals augured well. He expressed his belief that with the inauguration of more terminals the energy problem would soon be overcome.

Highlighting the importance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for the development of the country, he advised the business community to lead and suggest to the government in this connection and also take full advantage of the CPEC projects.

The prime minister stressed the need to promote tax-paying culture to boost the economy and said there was need for greater cooperation between the government and the business community.

Referring to the importance of the LNG terminal, Prime Minister Abbasi said these terminals were the biggest source of gas supply to Pakistan. He recalled that in the past all government efforts to bring the LNG to Pakistan had failed while during our government the LNG Terminal was built. He said the LNG contracts process had been transparent as only two parties had made their offers to supply the LNG and the work started on the terminal within 14 months.

The prime minister said that so far 100 ships of LNG had arrived which had boosted production of fertiliser to the extent that before LNG supplies the country used to import fertiliser but now one million tonnes of fertiliser had been exported from Pakistan.

He said the LNG terminal was the only terminal of Pakistan and in the world which had been built in the given period and made operational swiftly without using any public funds from Port Qasim with complete observance of the PPRA rules and without granting any kind of autonomy to the terminal.

Prime Minister Abbasi said that the government was paying full attention to infrastructure development, including building on roads and energy projects, and the business community ought to take full benefit from it and their suggestions would be welcomed because the government wanted to have maximum coordination to promote the economy.

Earlier, Mr Abbasi was given a briefing on the LNG terminal II at Port Qasim. He expressed gratitude to the chairman of Port Qasim Authority for ensuring transparency in awarding the contract of the terminal and its completion in the given period. He hoped that more terminals would also be completed in a shortest possible time.

He said that three large gas turbine plants were being installed while gas supplies to the industries would continue without any disruption.

After completion of his two-day visit to the metropolis, the prime minister left for Islamabad. Acting Sindh Governor Agha Siraj Durrani and other high officials bade him farewell at the airport.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2017