Initial plan for gas export to Afghanistan ready: NIGC head

November 10, 2020 - 11:35

TEHRAN - Head of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said on Monday that the initial plan and the necessary infrastructure has been prepared for launching gas exports to Afghanistan, Shana reported.

“The initial plan has been prepared and the private sector will be in charge of the gas exports to Afghanistan,” Hassan Montazer Torbati told reporters on the sidelines of an inauguration ceremony.

Torbati noted that diplomatic negotiations are underway and the government has already provided the full infrastructure needed for transfer of gas to its eastern neighbor.

Afghanistan is increasingly relying on Iran for its energy needs as the landlocked country moves to expand economic activity through opening a new trade route that passes through Iran to the Indian Ocean.

However, Iranian energy supplies, including electricity, are mostly available to western parts of Afghanistan where the security of transfer infrastructure can be properly guaranteed.

Iran has increased both the output and exports of natural gas in recent years despite the U.S. sanctions that have specifically targeted the country’s energy sector.

Nearly a tenth of Iran’s current output of more than 700 million cubic meters of gas is exported, mainly through pipelines to Turkey and Iraq.

On exports to Turkey, where authorities have announced the discovery of a new gas reserves in the Black Sea, Torbati said Ankara would still need to import gas from Iran to respond to its growing energy demand.

He said talks on renewing a 25-year export agreement with Turkey that is set to expire in several years' time would start in the near future.

EF/MA

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