PM: PM chairs 9th meeting of Cabinet Committee on Energy

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minster Mohammad Nawaz Sharif chaired 9th meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCE) here at the PM House on Thursday.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister said that power projects must be fast-tracked on top priority to provide relief to the people at the earliest. He said Pakistan is tapping all sources of energy to increase power generation at affordable rates.

He directed the Committee that steps should be taken on immediate basis for early start of the 1680-km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline which would be immensely beneficial in providing energy security to the region.

He noted that after his Wednesday’s meeting with Petroleum ministers of concerned countries it was agreed that timelines would be set for this project. He said a timeline of power situation forecast for both short and long terms should be presented to the Committee and meticulously followed.

The Committee gave approval for starting negotiations with Malaysia, China, Algeria, Nigeria, and Trinidad for import of LNG. Negotiations in this regard are already under way with Qatar.

Further, it was decided that an improved mechanism would be devised for LNG payments on regular basis to avoid any complications in this regard. CCE also approved government-to-government negotiations with Russia, Qatar and China for the construction of North-South gas pipeline. This 42-inch pipeline will be laid along the new alignment of N-5.

The Prime Minister was informed that negotiations are underway with Iran but due to international sanctions on the country, import of electricity from Iran would not be possible in the short term. CCE gave approval for official inclusion of Gwadar-Nawabshah gas pipeline into Early Harvest Program of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Ministers for Water and Power and Petroleum and Natural Resources briefed the Committee on setting up of 3600MW power generation plant based on Regassified LNG. The Committee was informed that LNG Terminal at Port Qasim would be completed next month.

The Prime Minister directed that work on preparing feasibility studies and sorting out modalities should be completed as soon as possible. He directed both the ministries to give a detailed presentation in this regard next week. The Prime Minister gave in-principle approval for allocating funds in PSDP for financing of this project.

Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) gave the meeting an overview of the Energy Active Portfolio and briefed about the generic issues causing delays in utilization of funds. The Prime Minister took notice of the un-utilized funds relating to generation, transmission and distribution projects and directed EAD and relevant ministries to expedite the foreign funded projects.

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