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New LNG import terminal at Port Qasim: Workshop participants assured best mitigation measures to lessen air, marine pollution

Karachi, March 16, 2017 (PPI-OT):Participants of a consultative workshop were informed that the best possible mitigation measures would be adopted to minimize damage to environment and to conserve marine life and ecology of the surrounding sea area to maximum possible extent as a project of new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility is being built at Port Qasim in Karachi.

The consultative workshop was organized on Thursday as part of the regulatory requirements for doing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the new LNG import terminal as envisaged under the Sindh Environmental Protection Act-2014.

Keeping in view the cause of environmental protection and conservation of marine ecology, concerned participants of the workshop expressed their concerns regarding the upcoming LNG import facility at Port Qasim in Karachi, which is going to be third such LNG terminal of the country at the same site.

Pakistan GasPort (PGP) is building the new LNG import facility as an extension to its similar under-construction LNG terminal at the same site of Port Qasim. The 600-700 mmcfd RLNG (Regassified LNG) handling and storage project will be completed by next year. First phase of the project will be made operational by June this year.

Saleem uz Zaman of Global Environmental Management Services, the environmental consultant of the project, informed participants at the outset of the moot that the workshop was being organized with concerned stakeholders to meet one of the requirements laid down by ‘Review of Initial Environmental Examination and Environment Impact Assessment Regulations-2014’ of Sindh Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Zaman said that workshop was being organized to duly invite and record suggestions of the concerned stakeholders for upkeep of environment of the surrounding area on land and sea as part of the planning to conduct EIA of the project to duly fulfil requirements of provincial environmental law.

He said that representatives of concerned academia, non-governmental organizations, public entities, and regulatory bodies had been invited to the workshop so that concerns and reservations expressed by them would be duly made part of mitigation measures to be taken in the light of EIA study of the project.

He said that proponent of the project had expressed full resolve to adopt best possible mitigation measures to minimize impact on environment of surrounding areas despite that LNG was considered to be the safest fuel all over the world whose storage, transportation, and consumption had only minimal effects on environment.

Nasir Pervez of PGP in his presentation about the project said that the new LNG import terminal as an extension to the first under-construction import terminal would be having expected annual capacity of 3.5 million tons while it could cater to 750 mmscfd (million standard cubic feet per day) peak gas rate. The proposed terminal will be built at Mazhar point of Port Qasim having approximate area of 15 acre including its sea channel.

The LNG terminal project having total capacity of 02 billion cubic feet per day when fully completed is likely to reduce gas deficit of the country by 30 per cent while fuel so imported in the country would be utilized for running new power plants having total capacity to generate 3,600 megawatts of electricity.

Concerned participants of the workshop said that any new import facility being built at commercial harbours of the country should not cause to increase marine pollution in surrounding sea area as it would not be helpful for continuity of Pakistani seafood exports to the developed countries.

Representatives of Worldwide Fund for Nature, National Institute of Oceanography, National Forum for Environment and Health, and of other concerned organizations called for replanting mangroves, doing baseline studies to monitor level of air and marine pollution in the area, and for establishing a centre for monitoring marine pollution at Port Qasim area as new fuel import facilities are being built there.

The officials of Port Qasim Authority (PQA) said that the port authority was very much cognizant of the issue of the marine and air pollution in its area and for mitigating the situation, a sustained monitoring and evaluation project was being carried out to constantly keep under observation any significant damage to environment or ecology of the area.

They said that Port Qasim was considered as the best place in the country for doing mangrove plantation as for this cause the PQA had been getting support from International Union for Conservation of Nature. The PQA officials assured the participants that international consultants had carried out proper security risk assessment of the port area for upcoming LNG import terminal projects as all the concerned law-enforcement and security agencies were now fully part of the comprehensive security plan being put in place for Port Qasim especially for coal and LNG imports.

For more information, contact:
Public Relations Officer (PRO)
Port Qasim Authority (PQA)
Bin Qasim, Karachi – 75020, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-99272111-30 (Ext. 4262)
Fax: +92-21-34730108
Website: http://pqa.gov.pk/

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