US firm ‘dismisses’ PML-N leaders’ allegations over LNG terminal | The Express Tribune


KARACHI:

A US energy giant, ExxonMobil, has rejected allegations levelled by former PML-N prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail regarding the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Pakistan.

In a tweet on Monday, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi has said ExxonMobil not only denied the allegations but also lodged a complaint against the PML-N senior leaders for making “baseless claims”.

“GOP [Government of Pakistan] has received a reply to my letter to ExxonMobil regarding Khaqan & Miftah’s unfounded allegations. ExxonMobil not only denies the rubbish but also registers a complaint over such nonsense, stating that such baseless allegations discourage multinationals from investing in Pakistan,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

In a letter dated July 15, 2021 shared by the minister on his profile, the energy giant said “ExxonMobil views Pakistan as an important market in the global energy industry. We have actively pursued multiple opportunities there, including, most recently, an LNG import terminal with Energas Pakistan (Private) Limited.”

Also read: Ex-PM Abbasi made no financial gain: IHC

“We are deeply concerned with references to Pakistani entities pursuing actions inconsistent with our standards. I can confirm that ExxonMobil has not witnessed any such unethical practices,” it added.

Furthermore, in the letter, ExxonMobil said it will register a complaint with the relevant Pakistani authorities over “unfounded allegations”.

“The politicisation of business can raise concerns about the ability to do business in the country. We would like to thank the Government of Pakistan for the support it has continued to provide ExxonMobil’s businesses initiatives in Pakistan,” it read.

In October last year, ExxonMobil had scrapped a plan to establish an LNG terminal in Pakistan.

It had partnered with a consortium of Energas Terminal (Pvt) Limited that was setting up the LNG terminal in the country.

“ExxonMobil is evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term as a result of market conditions and commodity price decreases,” a company spokesperson had told The Express Tribune.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had allowed five companies to establish LNG terminals in Pakistan. However, the government had drawn up a policy according to which it would not give any guarantee and the companies would set up the terminals at their own risk.



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