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ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday considered the issue of site allocation to private LNG developers for establishing floating LNG terminals.

During an Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, it was decided that only those sites at Port Qasim would be allocated for the establishment of floating terminal which have been declared safe after undertaking Quantitative Risk Assessment.

The government also approved Rs1.14 billion as three months salaries from January to March for the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills.

The meeting also considered a proposal for introducing necessary amendments in relevant laws for the purpose of ensuring tax exemptions at the Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Zone and constituted a committee to remove any anomalies in the proposed amendments.

The meeting approved a proposal to allocate 35 mmcfd Mari shallow gas and 40 mmcfd of Mari deep gas to Pakarab Fertiliser Limited (PFL) in order to optimally utilise the available installed capacity, encourage indigenous production of fertilisers and decrease reliance on imported urea.

In order to address the issue of disparity in the sale price and the revenues of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), the ECC constituted a committee comprising of members from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, Petroleum Division, Finance and Planning, Development and Reforms Division to examine the option of replacing the weighted average cost gas (WACOG) equalisation arrangement with a new arrangement of weighted average sale price (WASP) equalisation arrangement.

The committee will examine all aspects of natural gas sale pricing mechanism and would submit its recommendation to the cabinet within three months.

In order to provide gas to areas where the natural gas pipeline network was not available, the ECC approved five localities for SNGPL and six for SSGCL to establish LPG Air Mix Plants. The residents will be provided gas through the pipelines established locally within the city and the gas will be supplied by mixing LPG and natural air. LPG will be supplied to these remote cities in tankers.

The SNGPL localities include Bisham, Upper Dir, Kana, Alipur, and Narowal in Punjab. The SSGCL localities include Dalbandin, Taftan, Zheri, Bekar and Killi Balozai in Balochistan as well as Kunri in Sindh.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2018