September 13, 2018 (MLN): The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf-led government expressed its plan to recommence works on the much delayed and previously abandoned Iran-Pakistan pipeline project on Wednesday, 12th September.
A senior official was reported saying that Pakistan shelved IP project in 2016 on account of pressure from a leading gulf country. While Iran has already laid pipelines on its part, Pakistan has yet to lay 781-kilometre in its territory given the US sanctions on the western Asian nation.
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Mr. Ghulam Sarwar while talking to the Iranian Ambassador has said that IP gas project is the top priority for Pakistan at the moment and Pakistan is fully committed to implement IP gas pipeline project without any foreign pressure.
He also accepted an invitation from the Iranian ambassador to visit Iran and plans to hold a meeting with him to discuss working groups on IP gas pipeline before his visit to the country.
He further acknowledged the cooperation offered by Iran with respect to electricity supply to coastal areas and the import of petroleum products to curb smuggling.
The Iranian envoy has said that IP gas pipeline will be a game changer for the region as other countries are willing to cooperate in construction of IP gas pipeline.
As of now, Pakistan is relying on import of liquefied natural gas from Qatar owing to depleting local gas reserves and to bridge two billion cubic feet/day of shortfall.
Nevertheless, the imported gas is relatively cheaper means of power production with its share in electricity generation having increased to around 25 percent. However, energy experts have called for alternative sources of energy to ease pressure on import bill.
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