The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources is in the process of negotiating amendments in the Gas Sale Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with Iran for early implementation of the much-delayed Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.
“A draft amendment has been shared with Iran, and it has agreed to negotiate on it along with some other amendments in the GSPA,” official sources in the ministry said on Monday.
Sources also say 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.
Answering a question, the sources said the revised timeline for completion of the project would be decided mutually in the upcoming meetings between Pakistan and Iran.
“Given the loss of time due to ‘Force Majeure’ situation,” they said the IP project timeline needed to be extended, adding that Pakistan was already working on the project under an alternative strategy.
So, they said Pakistan’s proposal to amend GSPA to complete the legal formalities would hopefully 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 said.
Sharing details of the project, the sources said Inter-Governmental Framework Declaration was signed between the two countries on May 24, 2009, while GSPA had been agreed on June 2009.
Subsequently, Pakistan issued sovereign guarantee on May 28, 2010. The 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 diameter pipeline will start from South Pars gas field in Iran and end at Nawabshah, covering a distance of around 1,931 km with 1,150 km portion in Iran and 781 km 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 their respective territory.
The 750 mmcfd gas flow in the pipeline is projected to help generate around 4,000 MW of electricity. It will also create job opportunities in backward areas of Balochistan and Sindh, official sources said.
Replying to a question, the sources said the present government is firmly resolved and making concerted efforts to bring the project to fruition, voicing high hopes that gas shortfall problem would be resolved within the remaining period of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government.