Iran President vows to complete Pakistan gas pipeline by 2014

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 06:20 hrs

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed to complete a 7.5 billion dollar gas pipeline to Pakistan by 2014.

Pakistan and Iran signed a deal in 2010 under which Tehran would supply gas to its neighbour from 2014, with sales to reach up to one billion cubic feet per day by mid-2015, reports The Dawn.

"We want to complete this project by 2014. The portion of pipeline on Iranian side is about to be completed swiftly, while on Pakistan side the work will be completed soon," Ahmadinejad said, adding that Iran was also extending "financial assistance" to Pakistan for this purpose.

The project envisaged a pipeline, 900 kilometres in length built from Assaluyeh in southern Iran to the border with Pakistan.

He said Iran was also providing electricity to Pakistan and the two countries have signed agreements for up to 1000 megawatts of electricity supply.

Ahmadinejad also brushed off US pressure on the gas supply project to Pakistan.

"America cannot affect this project....God willing this project will be completed soon and gas will reach Pakistan," he said.

Pakistan insists the pipeline is vital to efforts in overcoming the energy crisis it faces, but the United States has expressed strong objections to the project. It is urging Islamabad to abandon it because of sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.

Pakistan, which produces just 80 per cent of its own electricity needs, sees the project as a partial answer to the crisis, which has led to blackouts.

Iran, which has the world's second-largest gas reserves, is rapidly developing its production but can only export a small part of it due to lack of pipelines or liquefaction infrastructure. (ANI)

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