700km Gawadar to Nawabshah pipeline: First LNG shipment by March 31, says Abbasi
Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, speaking at a news conference, has said that Pak-Iran gas pipeline will be completed by the end of 2016 or early 2017 and talks with Iran are underway to amend the bilateral agreement to reschedule gas delivery from Dec 31, 2014 to 2016-17.
He said that the first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) expected by March 31 this year would be provided to the transport sector.
Responding to a question on penalties for delayed project implementation, the minister said penalties have not been imposed as yet by Iran and talks were still going on to amend the agreement to incorporate new schedule.
The Petroleum Minister said that the government has planned to build 700-kilometre Gawadar to Nawabshah pipeline coupled with an LNG terminal at Gwadar. The remaining 70km between Gwadar to Gabd border point with Iran would be developed separately by Pakistani contractors.
Abbasi said petrol crisis was overcome by taking effective measures and the first LNG shipment will reach the country on March 31.
He said the compressed natural gas (CNG) was an important part of the country’s energy mix and efforts were under way to revive the industry as early as possible. He said the first shipment would most probably be provided to the CNG sector.
Petrol consumption in the country was increasing with each passing day due to falling prices and selling of 40,000 bikes a month, he said, adding that around 500,000 motorbikes were sold last year.
He said no CNG station would face closure after start of LNG import. The price of CNG would be deregulated and linked to crude oil so that its prices would be 30pc cheaper than petrol. The move will have a positive impact on budget of masses, environment, oil import bill and job market, he added.