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Pakistan Must Complete IP Gas Pipeline

Source: Shana 12/28/2013, Location: Asia

A top Pakistani authority has urged the government to complete the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project to resolve the country’s energy crisis.

“[The Pakistani] government needs to initiate serious efforts on all fronts, so that long-delayed Iran gas pipeline project and Kalabagh Dam (KBD) could be constructed; otherwise, energy security in Pakistan will remain a pipedream,” said Zubair Ahmed Malik, the president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

Pakistan is the only country whose power plants are working on natural gas despite the country’s deficiency, he added.

Malik emphasized that the future of Pakistan is tied to Iranian gas and KBD.

“We should stop digging own grave before it is too late,” the FPCCI chief stated.

The IP pipeline will see 21.5 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of Iranian natural gas exported to Pakistan.

The multi-billion-dollar pipeline is designed to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages.

Iran has already built more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

On December 19, Pakistani Federal Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Islamabad needs the under-construction multi-billion-dollar pipeline project to carry natural gas from Iran to its eastern neighbor.

“Pakistan needs the project and wants to complete it,” Abbasi said.

Under the original agreement sealed between Iran and Pakistan, if Pakistan does not fulfill its obligation to complete the pipeline on its side by the end of 2014, it will have to pay a daily penalty of USD 1 million to Iran until it is completed.

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