ISLAMABAD, Oct 31 (INP): The Haripur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) on Friday asked the government and private sector to focus on gas rich Sub-Saharan Africa to ensure dependable energy supplies. Sub-Saharan Africa is emerging as a major new player in the global natural gas markets which cannot be ignored as our national security and economic prosperity is tied to energy, it said.
Mozambique, Nigeria, Angola and Tanzania will produce about 175 billion cubic metres annually (bcm) of natural gas by 2040 outstripping Russia as a global gas supplier and ending European Union’s dependence on her gas, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, President HCCI.
He said that China, India, Japan, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates and Thailand have silently reached LNG deals with Mozambique, therefore Pakistani Government and private importers should not miss the opportunity.
Speaking to the business community, he said that our policymakers must be acutely aware that LNG imports from a booming Africa can tame energy crisis and significantly diversify energy mix as global oil market remains costly, highly volatile and unpredictable.
Atif Ikram Sheikh who is also Chairman PVMA, said that Pakistan urgently needs a new level of cooperation with Africa where gas production increased from 7 bcm in 1990 to 58 bcm in 2012.
He said that US will produce 240 bcm LNG by 2040 but it has refused a deal with Pakistan while getting gas from Russia, which will produce about 130 bcm by 2040, is nearly impossible.
We should have a clear priority to reduce our external dependence on costly fuel and focus on cheaper alternatives as gas import from Iran and Turkmenistan remains a pipe dream, said Atif.
He informed that in the last five years almost 30 percent of global oil discoveries were in sub Saharan Africa meaning that every third barrel of oil in the world was discovered in the continent that also have the unmatched solar potential.
Lauding the Pakistan’s energy LNG policy and recently announced tax relaxation on LNG imports, he said that Global LNG demand is expected to double by around 2035 therefore many countries are quietly reaching flexible contract terms on 20-year deals with the world’s least-developed nations and Pakistan should not miss the opportunity.