Negotiations underway to Facilitate Interrupted Gas supply project
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources is currently negotiating amendments in the Gas Sale Purchase Agreement (GSPA) previously signed with Iran to facilitate an implementation of the already-delayed Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.
According to an official source in the minister, “A draft amendment has been shared with Iran, and it has agreed to negotiate the same along with some other amendments in the GSPA.” They further apprised the media sources on Monday that construction work on the 700-kilometre Gwadar-Nawabshah gas pipeline was expected to commence soon on the same route of IP gas pipeline project in collaboration with China.
It was also said that the revised timeline for completion of the project would be decided mutually in the forthcoming meetings between the two countries. “Given the loss of time due to ‘Force Majeure’ situation, the IP project timeline needed to be extended,” they noted, further adding that Pakistan was already working on the project under an alternative strategy.
They also mentioned that Pakistan’s proposal to amend GSPA to complete the legal formalities. would hopefully soon be accepted by Iran. “The details, in this regard, can be sorted out by the Experts Group, which should meet to discuss and decide on all outstanding matters,” they added. It was also mentioned that Pakistan and Iran had signed the Inter-Governmental Framework Declaration on May 24, 2009, while GSPA had been reached in June 2009.
Subsequently, Pakistan had also issued a sovereign guarantee on May 28, 2010, while the Project consultant was appointed on April 11, 2011, and the design, feasibility, route survey and other formalities of the project were completed on September 8, 2012, they maintained. The 56-inch diameter pipeline will initiate from South Pars gas field in Iran and continue till Nawabshah, hence, covering a distance of nearly 1,931 kilometres with a 1,150-kilometre portion in Iran and the remaining 781 kilometres in Pakistan.
The project is expected to be implemented in several segments, whereby each country will be responsible for the construction of the pipeline in its respective territory. The 750 mmcfd gas flow in the pipeline is projected to help generate around 4,000 MW of electricity in addition to creating job opportunities in the remote regions of Balochistan and Sindh.
The present government was firm in its resolve and already making concerted efforts to implement the project soon, the officials added, voicing high hopes that the gas shortfall problem would be solved in the current government tenure.