Senate-LNG-Terminal Senate body for probe into LNG terminal’s underutilization as govt paid $45m idle charges

ISLAMABAD, Oct 1 :The Senate’s Standing Committee on petroleum Monday called for a probe into underutilization of the PGPCC LNG Terminal 2 at Port Qasim as the government had to pay $45 million as idle charges on that count in nine months.
The committee, which met here at the Parliament House with Senator Mohsin Aziz in chair, also asked for an inquiry as to why the Power Division did not give adequate demands for liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the terminal.
The meeting was attended by senators Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel, Lt
Gen (R) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Shamim Afridi, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Bahramand Khan Tangi, Additional Secretary Petroleum, Chairperson Oil and Gas Regulatory
Authority (OGRA) Uzma Adil, Managing Director Pakistan LNG Limited and other officials.
The committee noted with concern as to why such a huge terminal was built on wrong assumptions about demand, which were now not being made when it was operational.
The committee members took strong cognizance of the fact that the terminal was working at 54 percent of its capacity and consequently the government had paid $45 million as idle charge for under-utilization since it became operational nine months ago.
They were of the view that the terms of contract should be well thought out as to not put the government at a disadvantage as the other party had taken a matter of penalties for dispute
resolution and huge payments to the government were pending.
The committee questioned whether the plant was needed at all and had there been a mismatch in the policies of the government.
The committee also took up the details of loans taken by the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) in local currency and foreign exchange from banks and details of pending inquiries by external
agencies against its officials.
The committee members were told that the PSO had as of today receivables amounting to Rs 240 billion and if the power sector made its payments on time then it would not need to take loans to
continue its operations. The committee recommended timely payments to the PSO by the power sector.
The PSO was also asked to hold an inquiry into fake lubricants being sold in its name. Expedition of inquiries and bringing them to a logical end was also recommended by the committee.
Regarding the matter of lorries carrying oil, the committee noted with contribution from Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) that any and all containers with oil and petroleum products should be given clearance to move only if they were compliant of NHA
rules, have explosives clearing certificates and are weight compliant also. If any untoward incident occurred action should be taken against the oil management company concerned, it added.