‘Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project to be completed by Dec 2014’

By Business Recorder

ISLAMABAD: Despite enormous US pressure, the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project will be completed by December 2014, a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday.

In an informal talk with a group of journalists at the Embassy of Iran, the official said that work on the project was under way on both sides of the border and leaderships of both the countries were committed to complete the project within the stipulated timeframe.

He dispelled the impression that the two countries were facing problems in the execution of the multi-billion-dollar project and said that the project was of great importance for both countries.

On the Iranian side, he maintained, work on the project was going on a fast track basis. He said that the work would be completed well before the scheduled time.

The Iranian official said: “We are confident that the project will be completed despite foreign pressure.” No third country should have any concern in this regard, he said.

He said that the US government had issued several statements in a bid to force Pakistan to give up the project, but the latter rejected the pressure, as it was the most viable project to meet Pakistan’s energy needs.

About the possibility of India’s rejoining the project, he said that it was a major project and had the capacity to take on board any other country who wanted to benefit from the venture.

When completed, Iran will start supplying 750mmcfd gas to Pakistan from Iran’s South Pars gas field.

According to sources in the Ministry of Petroleum, the Engineering and Project Management (E&PM) had completed a bankable feasibility study, interim Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and a route reconnaissance survey of the project.

They said that work on the detailed route survey and FEED was completed last month, while the National Engineering Services Pakistan (Nespak) handed over some 320 documents to the government, which included details pertaining to the project’s cost, route and engineering design.

The Iranian official said various proposals were also under consideration to export electricity to Pakistan.

Moreover, the official said, Pakistan-Iran relations were on a forward trajectory and leaders of the two countries were meeting on a regular basis. He, however, admitted that trade relation between the two countries were not remarkable and stressed the need for greater economic cooperation between the two countries.

On the Afghanistan issue, he said that both Iran and Pakistan wanted a stable Afghanistan and for achieving peace in that country, they had constituted a trilateral commission, comprising Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, which was scheduled to meet in Kabul soon.

He also rejected reports regarding a misunderstanding between the two countries on various issues, including Afghanistan.


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