ISLAMABAD - To ensure that the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project does not remain a dream, Russia has now agreed to provide financial and technical assistance for the multi-billion dollar venture to help Pakistan overcome the worsening energy crisis.
In connection with the efforts to reduce energy woes of the country, the second meeting of Pak-Russia joint working group on energy was held on Wednesday where Petroleum Secretary Ejaz Chaudhry represented the Pakistani side, while the Russian delegation was led by Deputy Minister for Energy Yuru Sentyurin.
Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting informed TheNation that a Russian company PJSC (Public Joint-Stock Company) had shown its willingness for financing and construction of the pipeline. It was also bilaterally agreed that Pakistan would send a copy of draft of the agreement to Russia within fifteen days, which would sign deal after thoroughly reviewing the document. Similarly, financing will be determined in accordance with draft agreement of the IP gas import project.
They further told that Russia had maintained its previous demand of exemption from Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Rules. However, the Russian demand for final approval will be presented in the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet for govt-level agreement.
Russia has also shown interest in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, sources said.
Earlier, a Pakistani delegation had visited Russia and conducted discussions with Russian company Gazprom on the construction of IP pipeline.
It was also learnt that Russia had also shown its willingness to provide technical support to Pakistan for the coal development. Similarly, Russia has so far agreed to provide technical and financial assistance for various water and electric power projects. Next meeting of Pak-Russia joint working group will be held in the start of next year (2013) in Moscow.
It is to worth mentioning that with this gas pipeline project (IP), 750 mmcfd of natural gas will reach Pakistan to meet its demands.
Meanwhile, Iran has completed the part of the pipeline within its territory. According to the agreement, Pakistan will have to purchase the Iranian gas by December 2014; otherwise, it will have to bear a heavy fine worth one million dollars on a daily basis.