IP gas project to help overcome gas, power crises


The $ 1.2 billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, set to be completed next year, may prove a bonanza for the hard-pressed energy sector of Pakistan’s economy as the initiative will supply 750 million cubic feet of gas besides helping to contribute 4000 MW of electricity to the national power grid.
Iran is stated to have completed 900 km of work on its side while Pakistan launched its part of work last month, thus setting the stage for an ambitious undertaking which will greatly overcome Pakistan’s severe energy shortages.
In the prevailing energy crunch, the PPP-led coalition decided to go ahead with the project despite stiff opposition from some quarters.
However, the Pakistani government despite the pressure has signed the agreement with Iran to meet its energy shortages.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed the Inter-Governmental Framework Declaration (IGFD) of the IP project in Tehran on May 24, 2009. After signing ceremony of the Sovereign Guarantee Agreement (SGA), Pakistan’s then Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Naveed Qamar signed Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with Iran on June 5, 2009 through which Pakistan would import one million cubic feet gas per day.
The government had also appointed the engineering and project management teams in April 2012, to conduct route surveys on IP, who later submitted a final detailed report on the project.
Pakistan is experiencing a prolonged power crisis, low gas pressure and suspension of Compressor Natural Gas (CNG), adding to the problems of the masses.
Advisor on Petroleum and Natural Resources to the Prime Minister Dr Asim Hussain said the government wanted to complete the project as soon as possible in order to overcome the looming power and gas crises.
He termed the project beneficial for both countries and said, “We are dependent on this project as there is no other substitute at present to meet the growing energy demand.”
He said the government of Pakistan had started work on the project in December 2012, while Iran had already constructed more than 900 km of the gas pipeline on their side.
Asim stated that after completion of the project, it would start supplying 750 million cubic feet gas per day.
He said the implementation of the project showed that Pakistan had a flexible foreign policy.
In a press conference on the sidelines of the summit of the Group of Eight Developing Countries (D8) in Islamabad on November 22, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to complete the multi-billion dollar project within the stipulated time.
He said the portion of pipeline on Iranian side was about to be completed while Iran was also extending financial assistance to Pakistan to complete the project.
Another purpose of signing this pact was to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.