En­gro to set up sec­ond LNG ter­mi­nal in Karachi

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

AMAN­UL­LAH KHAN KARACHI—En­gro Cor­po­ra­tion has de­cided to build a sec­ond liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG) ter­mi­nal, bet­ting a re­vival in eco­nomic growth will boost de­mand for elec­tric­ity. EN­GRO is look­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of con­struct­ing a 400 to 600 mil­lion cu­bic feet a day LNG ter­mi­nal, through a part­ner­ship, for pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies, Chief Ac­cord­ing to Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Khalid Si­raj Sub­hani En­gro also plans to build a 450 megawatt LNG-fu­eled power plant for as much as $700 mil­lion. En­gro is also look­ing to in­vest over­seas in en­ergy and fer­til­izer af­ter the firm sells stakes in ex­ist­ing busi­nesses, he said. “The idea is to keep ex­pand­ing; there is a strong de­sire,” Sub­hani said in Karachi, Pak­istan’s com­mer­cial cap­i­tal.

“There are so many el­e­ments we are work­ing on, how they will ma­te­ri­al­ize it de­pends, but the shift will hap­pen to­ward en­ergy.” En­gro is seek­ing to turn an en­ergy cri­sis in South Asia’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy into an op­por­tu­nity as the govern­ment of Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif pushes to end short- ages within two years. The na­tion is adding power plants with the help of Chi­nese in­vest­ment and started im­port­ing gas last year with En­gro build­ing the na­tion’s first LNG ter­mi­nal. Out­ages last­ing 18 hours had led to street protests in Karachi as re­cently as June, while fall­ing nat­u­ral gas pro­duc­tion at home forced com­pa­nies to idle its plant. The en­ergy starved na­tion’s av­er­age elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion is 16,000 megawatts with deficit peak­ing to about 5,000 megawatts in the sum­mer, ac­cord­ing to Tahir Ab­bas, an­a­lyst at Arif Habib Ltd.

En­gro is also part of a joint ven­ture to produce 660 megawatts of elec­tric­ity from plants that will be built and start around June 2019 that will use coal for the first time from de­posits in the south­ern Pak­istan re­gion of Thar, which has one of the world’s largest lig­nite qual­ity coal de­posits. The com­pany plans to dou­ble pro­duc­tion and coal min­ing in the sec­ond phase of the project. Con­struc­tion has started with about 200 Chi­nese work­ers on site for the $2 bil­lion project, said Sub­hani. The project, part of China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor plan an­nounced last year, in­cludes about $820 mil­lion loans from Chi­nese banks.

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