Construction may begin by Feb’13 over IP gas pipeline project

-File photo

ISLAMABAD: The construction work on Pakistan segment of Pak-Iran gas pipeline project is likely to start by February 2013 and the first gas flow is scheduled by the end of December 2014, the National Assembly was informed on Friday.

The Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, in a written reply to a question raised by MNA Shagufta Sadiq, told the Lower House that Iran had already completed a 900 kilometres portion of 1150 kilometres segment on its side however the construction work on remaining 250 kilometres is in progress.

He said Pakistan section of the pipeline was to be laid from Iran-Pakistan border up to Pakistan off-take point at Nawabshah covering a distance of over 781 kilometres.

However, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira, while replying to a similar question, said Pakistan was committed to complete the project. The country singed agreement with Iran by putting aside all the international pressure, he added.

“We are also approaching India for gas. In this regard, negotiations are underway,” he said. A proposal to import 200 mmcfd Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) from India is also under consideration. He added that since no agreement had so far been executed, the implementation time cannot be ascertained at this stage.

He said that progress on the Pakistan-Iran Gas Pipeline Project was going on as per schedule. He said that there was an energy crisis in the country and the government had reviewed the drilling policy for gas. He said that the government had no intention to close the Natural Compressed Gas (CNG) stations. He said that the government had also tried to import Liquefied Natural gas (LNG) but the project was made controversial.

Parliamentary Secretary for Petroleum & Natural Resources Rukhsana Jamshed Buttar, while replying to a question by Sheikh Salahuddin, informed the House that present gas reserves of the country were for 18 years. Currently 132 oil and gas exploration and production companies were operating in the country, having licences for exploration of oil and gas, she added.

She said that as many as 44 exploration wells had been planned for exploration of oil and gas reserves for the fiscal year 2012-13.

About the present oil and gas per day production in the country, she said that oil production was 72,237 barrels per day and gas was 4,072 million cubic feet per day.

Meanwhile, Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali, in written reply to a question, informed the House that for the promotion of solar energy, Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) an organisation of Ministry of Science and Technology had installed Solar Photovoltaic Power Units of 62 KW capacity for electrification of mosques and houses mostly in remote areas of Balochistan and Sindh provinces for demonstration purpose to raise awareness among public from 2000 to 2007.

During aforementioned years, PCRET started mega project (at a cost of 418.498 millions) for production of solar photovoltaic panels up to 80 KW per annum. This project is near completion. The panels produced under this project would be used mainly for remote village electrification, he stated.

He further stated that the PCRET had installed 1,705 Domestic Biogas plants on cost sharing basis, during the period (01-01-2000 to 31-12-2007) for demonstration purpose.

The PCRET collaborated with various national, international and private organisations for imparting training, conducting seminars and workshops, exchange visits and other solar technology and biogas related activities for promotion of alternate sources of energy in the country, he maintained.