MANILA, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The Asian Development Bank said Friday it was supporting efforts to help Pakistan build its first liquefied natural gas terminal with a $30 million loan.
Pakistani company Engro Corp. will get funding from the ADB to build the regasification terminal at a port near Karachi. The plant will be able to convert as much as 3 million tons of LNG per year to gas for use in state power plants.
ADB investment specialist Mohammed Azim Hashimi said the loan would help Pakistan build a cleaner, more efficient and more diverse power sector.
"Pakistan urgently needs to utilize its existing power generation capacity fully, while reducing its reliance on costly imported diesel fuel for electricity generation," he said in a statement.
The Engro facility was approved for fast-track development earlier this week.
Pakistan's aging infrastructure means the country lacks a reliable power sector. The ADB in the past has lent its support to a multilateral natural gas pipeline that would strength from Turkmenistan.
The pipeline would draw from the Galkynysh natural gas field in Turkmenistan, one of the largest in the world.
The ADB describes the status of the power sector in Pakistan as "crippling." With the LNG facility, the bank said the Pakistan government would save about $1 billion per year on its fuel import bills. Cleaner burning natural gas, meanwhile, would help avoid 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.