KARACHI: The country’s second liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, established by Pakistan GasPort Consortium Ltd (PGPC) at Port Qasim, shall resume gas supplies to the national system by the Friday evening, the company claimed in a statement released on Thursday.

The terminal suffered a major disruption during trial runs after a pipe burst.

“Operations at the recently inaugurated terminal had been suspended for a few days during routine commissioning tests—which include pumping gas to test the integrity of the system—after a leak was detected in an insulation joint connecting the PGPC system to the connecting pipeline infrastructure,” the company statement added, claiming that the leak was “promptly stopped”.

“The joint has been replaced, and the system is being purged and repressurised. There are no faults with the jetty and marine works or the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) or the subsea section of the pipeline,” the statement continued, emphasising that “there has been no blast”.

The terminal represents an investment of about half a billion dollars by PGPC in the jetty and marine works, Norway’s BW Group in the brand new and state-of-the-art FSRU, and Fauji Oil Terminal & Distribution Company Ltd (FOTCO) in the pipeline infrastructure from the jetty to the national gas grid. The terminal was inaugurated on Nov 20 and received its first LNG cargo on Nov 24.

Xinjiang Petroleum Engineering Construction Company Ltd (XPE) led the Chinese consortium that built the terminal, the construction and commissioning of which have been supervised by independent international consultants to ensure quality of work and safe operations.

The government is relying heavily on the supplies from this terminal to mitigate gas loadshedding in the winter months, when consumption spikes, as well as to feed its growing fleet of LNG-based power plants.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2017