ISLAMABAD - Petroleum Adviser Dr Asim Hussain has said that tenders for construction of Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline would be opened next week.
Speaking to media on Tuesday, Asim Hussain said he would visit Iraq where he would discuss issues related to purchase of oil. The minister disclosed that Iran has agreed to export 80,000 barrels of crude oil per year to Pakistan and has also agreed to provide $250 million for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.
In a special parliamentary committee meeting, Hussain told the committee members that Pakistan had asked for $500 million but Iran agreed to give only $250 million. He added a Pakistani delegation will visit Iran in mid-March in connection with the project. The delegation will finalise the deal.
The United States has been pressurising Pakistan not to go ahead with the deal because of its sanctions on Iran. However, Pakistan insisted on continuing with it. Russia has also asked Pakistan to award a $1.2 billion pipeline-laying contract to its energy giant Gazprom without going into bidding process.
Recently, Iran and Pakistan had negotiated on boosting Iranian electricity exports to the neighbouring country by over 10 folds to reach 4,000 megawatts (MW) per day.
Iran’s electricity network is connected into the power grids of seven neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
President Asif Zardari in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Islamabad reiterated commitment for expeditious implementation of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, 1,000MW electricity transmission line and 100MW Gwadar power supply.