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Iran and Pakistan Starting a New Era of Energy Cooperation

(Monday, March 11, 2013) 09:53

TEHRAN Mar 11 (Shana): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari are set to attend a ceremony today to break the ground for construction of Pakistan side of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

In addition to some cabinet members from the two countries, officials from some other countries will also attend the ceremony. Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline dubbed ‘peace pipeline’ will enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis. Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

Tehran-based Tadbir Energy Development Group will reportedly undertake engineering, procurement and construction work for the project.

Pakistani media reported yesterday that the ceremony would be held at Gabd Zero Point on the border from where the Pakistan section of the gas pipeline starts.

Tehran has agreed to provide a $500 million loan to partially finance construction of the pipeline on the Pakistan side, which will cost $1.5 billion. Pakistan will pay the remaining cost from its own resources.

The pipeline is expected to be complete in 15 months. Iran has already completed the pipeline in its territory, while the laying of 785-km-long Pakistani section would commence now.

Iranian minister of petroleum, Rostam Qasemi, called Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline as the largest energy deal between the two countries. Talking to Shana, Qasemi said energy and petroleum ministers of the neighboring countries have been invited to attend today’s groundbreaking ceremony.