Pakistan likely to discuss gas agreement with Iran in May

Nation – A parliamentary delegation from Islamabad is planning to visit Iran in May, an insider told APP on Monday, to discuss re-opening three border markets, a projected gas pipeline and tourism.

“A Pakistani delegation is planning to visit Iran for which approval of the competent authority has been sought,” said an official who declined to be named.

The gas pipeline project had come under discussion during the Iranian president’s visit to Pakistan last year. Both sides had agreed to discuss the project in wake of lifting of international sanctions on Iran.

“It was decided to resolve all outstanding issues, including amendment in the gas sales and purchase agreement to incorporate workable implementation schedule.”

The work on IP project could not be initiated due to international sanctions on Iran. However, Pakistan said it was ready to complete the gas pipeline within 30 months in its part once the sanctions on Iran were lifted.

The government had allocated Rs25 billion in the current fiscal year for the development of gas infrastructure across the country, including the gas project.

Islamabad had also requested Iran for amendment in the gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA) to complete the gas pipeline in an extended period.

Sharing details of the project, the official said an inter-governmental framework declaration was signed between the two countries on May 24, 2009, while GSPA was reached on June 2009.

Subsequently, Pakistan issued sovereign guarantee on May 28, 2010. Project consultant was appointed on April 11, 2011, while the design, feasibility, route survey and other formalities of the project were completed on September 8, 2012.

The 56-inch diametre pipeline will initiate from South Pars gas field Iran and end at Nawabshah covering a distance of around 1,931 kilometres with 1,150km in Iran and 781km in Pakistan.

The implementation is to be done on the basis of a segmented approach whereby each country will be responsible for construction of pipeline in the respective territory.

Around 750mmcfd gas flow in the pipeline is projected to help generate around 4,000 megawatts of electricity, along with creating job opportunities for people of Balochistan and Sindh.