LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Pakistani utility K-Electric is seeking to buy about 1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually to feed a new power plant and is due to take bids from prospective suppliers on Friday, industry sources said.
The Karachi-based power generator is seeking supply for its 900-megawatt, $1-billion Ben Kasim Power Station which will start-up in two phases, in mid-2018 and the end of 2019.
The tender highlights the pace at which Pakistan is becoming a major LNG consumer having already closed a string of massive import tenders which it awarded to trading house Gunvor and Italy’s Eni.
Pakistan installed its first LNG terminal in 2015 and, after some delays, a second terminal is due to come online in October, doubling annual import capacity to about 9 million tonnes.
Two further import schemes are expected to become operational in 2018.
K-Electric’s tender calls on the LNG supplier to prove they have or can gain access to import capacity at one of Pakistan’s existing or upcoming import terminal projects at Port Qasim, according to the sources.
From there, the super-cooled fuel will need to be regasified and transported by pipeline to the power plant, the sources added.
One of the sources said K-Electric expects to award the tender within a month of receiving bids via a binding Heads of Agreement with the supplier.
K-Electric initially planned to take bids on Aug. 25 but decided to delay until this Friday, the source added.
The source declined to give the exact length of the contract, but said it would last for several years. (Editing by Andrew Heavens)