Trade: (ICCI terms LNG import as Govt’s great achievement)

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Tuesday said LNG import is great achievement of the government which will pave way for resolution of perpetual energy crisis in the country.

Some lobbies continue to interfere in the juvenile LNG sector which is against national interests hence intolerable, it said. LNG can be best used in transport sector to save billions in oil import bill but this sector is being discouraged systematically, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, President ICCI.

He said power plants can use coal or furnace oil which is cheap which transport sector use costly petrol and diesel therefore replacing imported fuel with LNG is in the national interest.

He said government has imposed zero GIDC and only five percent sales tax on imported LNG but increasing demands of gas utilities and oil retailer will damage the whole process.

Exposure of transport sector to LNG will reduce petrol consumption by billions of gallons stabilising forex reserves and reducing inflation while sinking urban pollution, he said.

He asked the government to pay more attention to LNG as its price will slide in the summer 2015 while there is no chance of hefty price hike in the next ten years as world’s regasification capacity is set to get a boost of 75 percent in the next 5-7 years.

He said Pakistan is to save 12 billion dollars in the oil import bill in three years due to current oil prices while the saving can be augmented by 30 percent if LNG gets support it deserves.

He said Asia is the biggest gas market consuming 729 trillion cubic meters of gas per annum which will become 1200 TCF soon while Pakistan’s energy requirement will be equal to 177 million tonnes of oil which call for special attention to the energy sector.