|Pakistan’s petroleum minister's visit to Iran delayed||
The visit of Minister for Pakistan’s Petroleum and Natural Resour-ces Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to Iran has been delayed due to unknown reasons. Official sources told Business Recorder that the Minister was to visit Iran before Eid-ul-Azha to discuss technical and financial issues related to the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.
"As per the plan, we were expecting that all the arrangements of the visit will be finalized by October 10 but have not received a green signal from the Iranian authorities so far and therefore the visit has been delayed," they added. The $1.5 billion IP project has been lingering since 1995, when a memorandum of understating (MoU) was signed between the two countries to lay the pipeline. Under the accord signed in June 2010, Iran will provide about 750 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) of gas to Pakistan for 25 years. The deal can be extended by five years and the volume may rise to 1 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD).
"During upcoming Iran visit, the Pakistani delegation led by the petroleum minister will renegotiate financing of the gas project and will also request the Iranian authorities to extend the amount of their financial support from $500 million to $1 billion," Petroleum Ministry officials said.
"Our main concern is American sanctions on Iran, due to which Pakistan has failed to complete the project so far. Once the U.S. sanctions are lifted the laying of pipeline will be completed within a year as all other important tasks related to the project are in place," they said. Sources while quoting the 'penalty clause' of the agreement said that both Pakistan and Iran were bound to complete the project by the end of 2014, and if any of the countries caused delay, it will have to pay a penalty of $1 million per day.
(Source: Business Recorder)
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader