Pakistan to sign gas pipeline deal within days
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said Islamabad is to sign an agreement with a Chinese company to build gas pipeline from Gwadar to Nawabshah, the main part of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.
The agreement will be signed during a visit to Pakistan by Chinese President Xi Jinping who is to pay a two-day visit to Pakistan from Monday (April 20-21), Abbasi told IRNA in a recent exclusive interview.
The minister said that the gas pipeline project would cost about three billion dollars and will be built by China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB) which is a part of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
According to the Pakistani minister, construction operation of the pipeline will start shortly after both sides sign the agreement and the project will complete in 30 months. He added that the Pakistani side is insisting on accomplishing the project as soon as possible.
The minister went on to say that the pipeline from Gwadar to Iran border (about 80 km) will be built by two Pakistani companies the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and it will be completed before Gwadar-Nawabshah pipeline.
The deadline for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline agreement expired on December 31, 2104. Iran has almost completed its portion of the project but Pakistani side has yet to begin the construction of the pipeline on its territory.