Home Latest News Interim Cabinet Approves Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Project

Interim Cabinet Approves Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Project

Pending since 2014, plan calls for 1,931km-long project to be completed in a year

by Staff Report

File photo. Atta Kenare—AFP

The interim federal cabinet committee this week approved the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, aiming for its completion within a year, indicating a boost for the country’s energy needs in the near future.

Last week, the interim cabinet had approved a summary through circulation to ratify a decision of the Cabinet Committee on Energy that had greenlit the project pending since 2014 after an agreement was signed in 2009 with a targeted completion date of 2015. However, the U.S. had threatened sanctions against Pakistan if it proceeded with the project, halting its progress in 2014 when Iran had already completed 900km of the pipeline.

The 1,931km-long gas pipeline project calls for 1,150km to be laid inside Iran and the remainder in Pakistan’s Balochistan province up to Gwadar. According to the cabinet’s plan, it would cost $158 million.

In a statement issued last week, the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) had announced approving recommendations of the Ministerial Oversight Committee for the project constituted by interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar in September 2023. The oversight committee had recommended starting work on the 80km segment of the pipeline inside Pakistan in the first phase. The CCoE statement had said Inter-State Gas Systems (Pvt.) Ltd. would execute the project, with funding through the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess.

The statement had further noted that the project would ensure gas supplies for the people of Pakistan and help address the country’s growing energy needs. “This will also catalyze the economic activity in the province of Balochistan and will contribute to the economic progress of Pakistan,” it added.

Earlier this year, Iran issued a third notice to Islamabad, renewing its intention to move an arbitration court for Pakistan’s failure to lay its portion of the pipeline. Pakistan’s intent to revive the project has led to Iran extending its deadline for arbitration till September 2024.

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