Use of CNG: Pakistan to collaborate with Indonesia (Business Recorder (Pakistan))

Pakistan is to collaborate with Indonesia on use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as fuel and through the recently-completed Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), well-informed sources told Business Recorder. Pakistan has offered its expertise in CNG field to another country at a time when CNG stations established in Punjab, the largest populated province, are dry and thousands of workers are unemployed.

According to official documents, presented to federal cabinet, in its recent meeting, Pakistan”s ambassador to Indonesia has revealed that the Government of Indonesia is exploring possibility of using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a fuel for transport. The President of Indonesia during his visit to Pakistan realised that Pakistan could serve as a model to popularise the consumption of CNG in Indonesia. This was followed by a visit of an 18-member delegation by Indonesian Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), which visited the offices of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Ogra and All Pakistan CNG Association. In response to the visit of Indonesian delegation, a six-member All Pakistan CNG Association also paid a visit to Indonesia from 25 August to 2 September, 2013.

Ogra has formulated Terms of Reference (ToR) to ensure its co-operation/ assistance in the establishment/ development of CNG licencing and regulatory framework to Indonesia. Ogra has also proposed a list of representatives from Pakistan to be included in the working group to be established between Pakistan and Indonesia.

In terms of proviso under rule 16(1)(h) of the Rules of Business 1973, “all proposals entering into any cultural or other agreements with any foreign government, shall, in the first instance, be submitted to the cabinet for approval in principle and actual negotiations shall be initiated only after the proposal has been approved by the Cabinet”.

In this case approval in principle of the cabinet was not obtained before initiating negotiations. Thus in order to formalize actual negotiations which are already under way an approval has been granted. According to Pakistan”s ambassador to Indonesia, Indonesians are amazed how fast Pakistan could become the country with the largest number of CNG stations (3, 000) in the world. As a follow-up of the internal government discussions, Commissioner of Gas Infrastructure, Indonesia, Dr Qoyum Tjandranegara, met the Pakistani ambassador and shared the following: (i) at present, the government plans to set up 55 CNG stations in collaboration with private sector. The number would subsequently be increased to 500; and (ii) the government would provide a subsidy to promote the use of CNG as fuel but would not get involved in establishing/operating CNG stations.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has supported the proposal with the condition that all the commercial matters involving purchase of CNG equipment/technology transfer from Pakistan may be dealt with in accordance with approved government policies/ rules/ procedures.