(EnergyAsia, February 16 2016, Tuesday) — Concluding their largest bilateral trade deal, Qatar will soon begin an annual supply of 3.75 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Pakistan over the next 15 years.

State-owned Qatar Liquefied Gas Company or Qatargas, the world’s largest LNG firm with 42-million tons of production capacity, expects to ship the first cargo to Pakistan State Oil (PSO) in March.

The new supply deal, signed by Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatargas chairman, and Sheikh Imran ul Haque, PSO’s managing director and CEO, will contribute to Pakistan’s goal to eventually import 20 million tons of the fuel a year. Mr Al-Kaabi is also Qatar Petroleum President and CEO.

In Doha to celebrate the contract’s signing last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the US$15 billion deal will provide clean-burning fuel for two-thirds of his country’s power-generating capacity as well as feedstock for fertiliser production.

In a statement, Qatargas said subsidiary Qatargas 2 delivered the first LNG cargo to PSO’s floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Port Qassim last April. The FRSU forms part of the Elengy LNG terminal, Pakistan’s first LNG import terminal.

Qatargas 2, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Total, started production in 2009.