Preparations for the sale of a strategic stake in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGP) have moved forward with the finalisation of a regulatory and tariff framework, sources at the Petroleum & Natural Resources Ministry say. The privatisation of SNGP, which distributes gas in Punjab and Northwest Frontier provinces, had been stalled until a satisfactory framework was established. The document is now ready and will be submitted to the cabinet for approval in the near future, the sources say (MEED 15:11:96).

The document was prepared by the Privatisation Commission and financial advisers NM Rothschild & Sons and the local First Capital Securities in consultation with the ministry. The framework incorporates a cap on returns for the privatised company, and recommends the establishment of an independent regulatory body, sources at the commission say.

The commission has also completed a preliminary information memorandum that will be issued to companies interested in the sale as soon as the regulatory framework is approved. Companies will then be invited to apply to prequalify. Shortlisted companies will have access to a further information memorandum and will be invited to carry out due diligence. The government hopes to complete the transaction before the end of October, the ministry sources say.

The government also plans to sell a strategic stake in Sui Southern Gas Company, which distributes gas in Sind and Baluchistan provinces.