ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) on Thursday did not take a decision on allowing dry-docking of Engro’s LNG terminal, but asked the Petroleum Division to follow priority order of gas curtailment under the load management plan already in vogue during the supply disruption.
The meeting of the CCoE presided over by Planning Minister Asad Umar was presented a legal opinion of the Ministry of Law and Justice on the issue of dry-docking of Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) of Engro Elengy Terminal Ltd (EETL) effective June 29.
A senior government official told Dawn that Secretary Petroleum Dr Arshad Mahmood told the committee that the law ministry’s report had been received at the Petroleum Division at a time that it could not be circulated to members before the meeting. Mr Umar desired to have the participation of law ministry at an appropriate level and perhaps hold a meeting on the subject at the Prime Minister Office to deliberate on the matter in a holistic manner.
The sources said Petroleum Division felt some urgency in the matter but it was observed that members of the committee should need to be given time to go through the law ministry’s report and make up their mind so that a well considered decision could be reached. The CCoE should not be expected to take decision in a hurry without reading the legal opinion.
An official statement said the CCoE “took up the proposal of the Petroleum Division for curtailment of gas supplies in the event of dry-docking of FSRU of Engro Elengy Terminal”. The committee “observed that the guidelines in this regard are already available under ECC decisions, which should be adhered to”.
Another official explained that the petroleum ministry’s summary per se did not seek CCoE’s approval for dry-docking of terminal, but of the load management plan as a result of dry docking which was a operational matter to be settled between the terminal operator (Engro) and gas purchaser (gas companies). However, a priority criteria for gas curtailment was already available with the approval of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet for winters and therefore, the CCoE did not feel the need for a fresh approval.
The Petroleum Division had proposed that during the dry docking stretching from June 29 to July 5, about 70 mmcfd RLNG be suspended to two fertiliser plants, followed by 40mmcfd to CNG sector in Punjab, 70mmcfd of local gas to CNG in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the spared volumes be used by SNGPL for system balancing and diversion to power plants subject to charging of RLNG tariff and another 115mmcfd RLNG to non-export generation industry in Punjab and KP.
In case of SSGCL, the summary demanded suspension of both RLNG and local gas to CNG sector and non-export generation industry and RLNG to K-Electric be also reduced.
Mr Umar directed that it should be the aim of the policy to create a competitive marketplace and hence the Petroleum Division should also come up with its assessment of the expected outcomes of the policy recommendations.
Petroleum Division also updated Cabinet Committee on Energy on North-South Gas Pipeline Project, now called Pakistan-Stream Gas Pipeline Project (PSGP). CCoE noted the progress and directed Petroleum Division to expedite actions to ensure that the project was undertaken as per the already specified timeline.
Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2021