An existing floating storage and regasification unit in operation in Pakistan will be swapped out for a newbuild with a larger storage capacity, to meet the country’s growing demand for natural gas
A Pakistan-based floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is to be replaced, offering larger storage capacity. The switch follows the signing of a heads of agreement (HOA) between US-based Excelerate Energy and Engro Elengy Terminal Ltd (EETL) to expand the EETL LNG import terminal in Port Qasim, Pakistan. The HOA calls for Excelerate to exchange its existing FSRU Exquisite for the newbuild FSRU, Hull 2477, which is currently under construction at South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard.
In September 2019, Excelerate and Greek shipowner Maran Gas Maritime Inc (MGM) signed a five-year bareboat charter agreement for Hull 2477. Excelerate has the option to purchase the FSRU at any time during the duration of the contract.
Hull 2477 will increase EETL’s send-out capability by more than 150M standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) and increase its LNG storage capacity from 150,900 m3 to 173,400 m3. Excelerate will take delivery of Hull 2477 in April, and EETL projects beginning expanded operations in Pakistan before the country’s winter season in 2020.
“We are proud to partner with Engro and Vopak on this expansion to help meet the growing demand for natural gas in Pakistan,” said Excelerate chief commercial officer Daniel Bustos. “In the nearly five years of essentially non-stop operations in Pakistan, we have a track record of safe and reliable operations at peak performance.”
The EETL terminal – Pakistan’s first floating LNG import terminal – began operations in March 2015. The facility consists of an LNG jetty including a 7.5 km high-pressure gas pipeline. This pipeline is connected to the grid of EETPL’s sole customer Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd, a Pakistan government-owned entity. EETPL holds a 15-year FSRU time charter.
The terminal, which utilises Excelerate’s FSRU Exquisite, has been delivering up to 690 MMcf/d of natural gas directly into Sui Southern Gas Company’ s natural gas pipeline system. Gas is mainly used for power supply for the growing population, industrial usage and as feedstock for fertilisers. Exquisite currently meets about 15% of Pakistan’s domestic daily natural gas requirements and is recognised as the most utilised FSRU worldwide. EETL has imported over 275 LNG cargoes to date.
EETL is a joint venture between Engro Corporation and the Netherlands’ Royal Vopak.
Exquisite is one of two FSRUs in operation used by Pakistan to import LNG. The other is BW Integrity which has been in operation since 2017. BW Integrity, with an LNG capacity of 170,000 m3 and a nominal send-out capacity of 5.0 mta, is owned by BW and chartered by Pakistan Gas Port at the Port Qasim Gas Port.
The expanded capacity of the newbuild FSRU will help Pakistan meet its growing demand for natural gas. Pakistan imported a total of 7.57M tonnes of LNG in 2019, up from 6.86M in 2018.
With LNG imports to the country expected to quadruple by 2040, Pakistan plans to build more LNG import terminals and has received proposals from five different joint ventures. Proposals have been submitted by Elengy Terminal (Engro, Fatima/Pak Arab, Shell and Gunvor), Energas (Lucky Group, Sapphire, Hallmore and ExxonMobil), PGPL (Pakistan Gas Port and Trafigura), GEIP and Tabeer Energy (Mitsubishi).
A DNV GL joint venture is acting as an LNG consultant to the Port Qasim Authority to assist in assessing the proposals.