Land route chosen for Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline

By an OGJ correspondent
KARACHI, Aug. 25
-- A Pakistan government subcommittee finalized a land route through Balochistan province for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

In an Aug. 22 meeting, the committee dropped the alternate proposal for a sea route.

Construction cost of the pipeline from Iran to Nawabshah City in Sind province is estimated at $1.2 billion. In a briefing after the meeting, Petroleum Minister Shaukat Tarin said the option remains for India to rejoin the project any time. India initiated the pipeline project but subsequently pulled out, leaving only Iran and Pakistan involved in the project.

Once the current proposed pipeline is constructed, a separate pipeline would be required for India, Tarine said. The current project will be government financed, but the private sector may be invited to participate, he said.

There is an option to generate funding through stock exchanges with the listing of a company, he said. Under that option, the partnership between government and private sector would be 60:40.

The minister said locally made pipeline would be used in the project, and most of the work would be done by local companies. However, he does not oppose hiring an international consultant, if needed.

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