Saturday, March 25, 2023

Government ensures transparency in LNG purchase: Hammad Azhar

To enhance transparency in the purchase of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the government on Wednesday directed its two organizations, Pakistan State Oil and Pakistan LNG Ltd, to make public auction results in a timely way.

“Both institutions are encouraged to post the outcomes of the purchase decisions on their respective websites within 24 hours,” Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said to the two state-owned enterprises engaged in the LNG procurement.

In separate letters, the minister also urged the chairs of the two businesses’ boards of directors (BoDs) to consider and decide on the purchase of spot RLNG (Regasified LNG) cargoes “to increase transparency and further improve processes.”

According to the minister, “these orders are intended to ensure competent oversight by the various BODs on such critical concerns, as well as the prompt publication of procurement information, which is necessary for maintaining market efficiency as well as public transparency.”

Read Also: Ogra remove the notification after the PSO denies the purchase of the “most expensive” LNG cargo

The minister also stated on Twitter that he had directed the boards of directors of PSO and PLL to “consider & decide on timing, acceptance or rejection of bids” and that “decisions taken in this respect would be publicized on their websites.”

The minister stated that the process of purchasing RLNG on the spot market was already done through competitive bidding and tenders and that the goal of these additional transparency requirements was to put a stop to speculation and misreporting.

The decision came after inter-ministerial conversations over recent public criticism about the timing, methods, and bidding results that led to some of the two firms’ costly spot acquisitions. Non-public disclosure of bidding results, as well as comparisons of spot and long-term LNG import arrangements, have also been debated. This resulted in, among other things, the removal of RLNG selling price gazette notice due to non-disclosure of complete procurement results.

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