Italian and Chinese majors vie for Pakistan’s mega LNG tender

Italian energy company Eni is among the bidders for a massive LNG tender from Pakistan. (Reuters)
Updated 20 July 2019

Italian and Chinese majors vie for Pakistan’s mega LNG tender

  • The country’s biggest supplier currently is Qatar, with which it signed a deal in 2016 for 3.75 million tons of LNG a year for 15 years

LONDON: Italian oil major Eni, China’s overseas energy unit PetroChina and two trading houses are vying to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Pakistan in a tender worth billions of dollars.
The 240-cargo 10-year tender, worth up to $6 billion according to Reuters, was issued last month and closed on Thursday.
Pakistan is expected to be a significant top-five growth driver in global LNG demand, with WoodMac estimating the country will need 25 million tons a year as domestic supplies dwindle and its economy grows.
Eni, the trading arm of Azeri state oil company SOCAR, PetroChina International Singapore, a unit of PetroChina Co. Ltd. and global trading house Trafigura have reportedly all made offers.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Tender is to buy 240 LNG cargoes for 10 years.

• Deal worth billions at current oil price.

• Tender to be awarded in August.

“The technical bids for our long-term LNG supply tender were received and opened yesterday. Evaluations are underway,” Pakistan LNG said in emailed comments to Reuters.
The tender is keenly watched due to its size and because Pakistan, gripped by an anti-corruption drive under the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is expected to publish the lowest prices offered by the companies.
This will give a valuable insight into the opaque LNG market, which is characterized by closed bilateral trades, secret long-term supply agreements and an over-the-counter spot market.
Commercial offers are expected to be opened on Aug. 2, said a source, which is when tender issuer Pakistan LNG is likely to announce the prices.
Pakistan, like most Asian buyers, purchases LNG priced against Brent crude oil expressed as a price slope.
The country’s biggest supplier currently is Qatar, with which it signed a deal in 2016 for 3.75 million tons of LNG a year for 15 years. It also has a separate 15-year agreement with Eni.


Popeyes flexes its muscles in China as KFC feels the heat

Updated 20 November 2019

Popeyes flexes its muscles in China as KFC feels the heat

  • Popeyes signed a lease in Shanghai for its first store in China on Monday

SHANGHAI: US fried chicken chain Popeyes wants to become the top chicken brand in China, the chief executive of its parent company said on Tuesday, as it prepares to take on KFC, the leading player in the world’s most populous market.

Popeyes signed a lease in Shanghai for its first store in China on Monday, which is expected to open next year.

The company outlined plans in July to build 1,500 restaurants in China in the coming decade, becoming the last of Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International Inc’s main brands to enter the country.

By contrast, Yum China’s KFC has about 6,300 stores. Yum has said that it is acutely aware there is more opportunity to expand in China, noting that while it was in 1,300 Chinese cities, there are still as many as 800 cities without a KFC store.

Popeyes’ July plan was “just really to put a framework on the short-term potential business,” Jose Cil, RBI’s CEO said in an interview in Shanghai.

“I think we can be the No. 1 chicken brand here in China and all around Asia,” he said, adding that consumers in the region were looking for options. He dismissed concerns that a slowing China economy and trade tensions had dimmed prospects for growth in the long term.

Cil’s remarks comes as the Cajun-inspired fast food chicken chain experiences a surge in popularity in the US after a newly launched fried chicken sandwich went viral on social media.

Demand was such that Popeyes had to stop taking orders after only two weeks before relaunching it this month.

The sandwich will also be offered in China, he said.

Cil noted that RBI’s other two main brands had seen rapid growth in China.

Burger King has expanded to around 1,100 stores in China from less than 100 in 2012. “We think we’ll keep growing at a steady pace,” Cil said.

And Tim Hortons, its Canadian coffee chain, just opened its 28th store in China after launching there in February.

“We are preparing ourselves to be able to accelerate growth in the coming years,” Cil said of
the brand.