KARACHI: Tabeer Energy Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, has planned to set up a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at Port Qasim with an estimated cost of $400 million.

This was stated by Kosuke Makino, Chief Executive of Tabeer Energy Limited, who along with Atsushi Fujii – Chief Executive Mitsubishi Corporation for Pakistan – and Kimihide Ando, SPK – Senior Vice President Mitsubishi Corporation – visited the offices of Business Recorder on Saturday.

“It would be the first of its kind, a market based commercial project without any sovereign guarantee or subsidy from the government of Pakistan. We will import LNG cargoes in Pakistan to sell these directly in open market to our customers,” Makino said.

Tabeer Energy is a 100 percent affiliate of Mitsubishi Corporation and has been a global LNG integrated player since the early 1960s. Mitsubishi has over 60 year business experience in Pakistan.

Makino said the company would start its operations by the end of the year 2020. “Subject to regulatory, commercial and technical evaluations, the natural gas will be supplied to Pakistan somewhere by the end of year 2020 or mid 2021,” Makino continued.

He said the company would take its financial investment decision in second half of 2019 to start the work on the project.

“We have applied to Port Qasim Authority (PQA) for a Letter of Interest (LoI),” he said and added that he hoped to have approval from the Authority at the earliest.

Tabeer LNG Project would be established at Port Qasim, Karachi, according to Makino, the site is discretionally selected as a result of a detailed study on social and environmental impacts of the project.

He said the project would be able to ensure the security of supply of LNG to each customer in Pakistan on competitive prices.

“We will supply RLNG to the power, CNG and industrial sectors,” he added.

Tabeer Energy will be endowed with a capacity to supply 750mmcfd of gas that would be imported with LNGC arrival frequency of 70-90 cargos per annum.

About the infrastructure, he said the present gas supply pipeline is not sufficient and there is a need for laying another gas supply pipeline from Karachi to Lahore. “We have discussed these issues with Finance Minister Asad Umar and other concerned high officials for speeding up the procedures,” he said.

He underscored the need for laying a separate gas pipeline to ensure smooth supply of gas from Karachi to northern parts of Pakistan. However, it would be challenging for Tabeer Energy to start its project without being assured of a separate gas supply pipeline. “We will not go ahead without having government assurance of a new gas pipeline,” he said.