Work on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to begin in six months

09:30, July 06, 2011      

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Pakistan's Petroleum Minister Asim Hussain said Tuesday that construction work on the multi- billion Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline will begin in six months.

The minister told a private TV channel that a survey of the nearly 7.6 billion U.S. dollar project started last month and the progress is satisfactory. He said import of Iranian gas will start in mid-2014.

Pakistan is facing acute shortage of energy and the government has started gas load management to deal with the crisis and the minister admitted that the government is very concerned over the gas and electricity shortfall.

The minister's statement came at a time when Pakistan has announced a new plan to suspend gas supply to factories for two to three days in a week. Factory owners have angrily reacted to the government's policy and said they would announce protest strategy.

The government has also declared a three-day break in supply of the compressed natural gas (CNG) used in vehicles. The people, especially taxi and public transport drivers, have protested against the decision. People have complained that the taxi drivers now charge more that they can not afford. Millions of vehicles use CNG as it is cheaper in Pakistan.

Hussain said the government, at the level of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, is making efforts to resolve the issue of U.S. pressure on the project.

The U.S. has always publicly opposed the Iran gas pipeline, which according to experts had been one of the main reasons in delay of the project. Delay in the implementation of the Iran gas line, also called "Peace Pipeline," has pushed Pakistan to the worst energy crisis in its 64-year history.

Experts and government officials insist early completion of the crucial project to avert imminent energy shortage. The project would also help generate around 5,000 megawatts of electricity, according to experts.

Pakistan will import from Iran 750 million cubic feet of gas daily for 25 years, according to officials. The pipeline will facilitate transfer of natural gas from Iran's biggest gas field in South Pars to Pakistan through the southwestern Balochistan province.

Hussain said that the government will soon announce an energy plan to explore ways to find out solutions to the fast growing energy crisis. He described the energy shortage as "very dangerous " and hoped that the situation would improve by June next year.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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(Editor:张心意)

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