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    Pakistan seeks lower cost of Iran pipeline

June 28, Dubai (Gulf News) Pakistan has asked Iran to reduce the cost of the proposed gas pipeline to make it more affordable. The two states recently opened talks on the Dh9.17 billion gas pipeline project. An Iranian delegation met Pakistan's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, according to a report in Progress, a monthly publication of Pakistan Petroleum Ltd.

"The delegation had detailed discussions on the proposed gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan. The 1,638-kilometre pipeline will carry gas from the Iranian gas field of Assaluya to Gaddani, the coastal area of Baluchistan. It is estimated to have a capacity of 1.6 billion cubic feet per day and is projected to fulfill the country's required 24.7 per cent share of gas through import," the publication said.

It added: "Khan emphasised the need to minimise the cost of the pipeline project to make gas affordable to Pakistan." The Pakistan minister said that considering the number of options to import gas from Turkmenistan, Iran and Qatar through a number of pipeline sponsors, Pakistan has created fair and transparent competition based on the lowest delivered price.

He suggested that despite hurdles, work on the Pakistan-Turkmenistan pipeline should continue. "The project has not only economic, but also political implications. We should try our best to carry out the project despite hurdles," Khan said.

Meanwhile, the publication reported that a U. S. energy corporation, Synergics Energy Development, has plans to invest Dh3.67 billion in two hydro-electric power generation projects in Pakistan.

The projects - 600-megawatt and 84-megawatt hydroelectric power plants in the Northwest Frontier Province and Azad Kashmir respectively - would be built on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis and completed by 2006.

The company would provide electricity to consumers at cheaper rates than thermal projects. Synergics would operate the two projects - the Kohala hydroelectric and Matiltan project - for 25 years before handing them over to Pakistan


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