ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee for Energy (CCOE) on Thursday discussed the plan to phase out the gas tax for the coming winter season, as gas consumers will experience power outages in December and January 2020. 21
The government will finalize the gas reduction plan next week, a senior government official Thursday evening. However, according to the official announcement, a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) was held in Islamabad on Thursday under the chairmanship of Federal Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar.
The Cabinet’s Energy Committee has assessed the implementation status of the North-South gas pipeline project and the demand for HSFO and LSFO from power plants. The heating oil requirement for winters presented by the Department of Energy has been revised. The CCoE instructed the ministry to supply all industrial and residential demand during the winter months, without any reduction in load. The CCoE further asked the ministry to ensure that the use of all other fuel sources, including renewables and coal, is maximized before assessing the need for fuel oil. The assessment of national refining capacity would also take place so that a minimum import of fuel oil is required.
The Petroleum Division presented the natural gas supply situation for the winter, including LNG import needs. The CCoE has instructed the Ministry to ensure that the gas tax on industry is not reduced and that every effort is made to meet the residual demand of the system. The Ministry will follow the priority criteria for gas allocation during the winter season. The CCoE took into account that SSGC did not complete the extension of the 17 km pipeline to Port Qasim, which was an obstacle to the use of the LNG terminal’s capacity.
The CCoE requested that the Minister of Energy contact the government of Sindh personally to ensure that an NOC is issued for the construction of the pipeline and that the project is completed by December 2020. The CCoE has emphasized the full use of excess LNG to produce additional gas. available in the system. The implementation status of the North-South gas pipeline has also been submitted to the CCoE. The committee ordered the ministry to speed up the process of land acquisition for the project and also present the detailed project implementation schedule and transaction structure for February 2021 to the ministry.
The meeting was attended by Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Trade, Textiles, Industry, Manufacturing and Investments Abdul Razaq Dawood, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, SAPM on Mineral Resources Shahzad Qasim and an officer of various divisions.