The interest in acquiring a contract for construction of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is growing lately as GPB Global Resources, an international group of companies and a subsidiary of Gazprom Bank of Russia, has come up with an offer that it can finance the $1.5 billion pipeline project if the contract is awarded to the Russian energy giant – Gazprom, sources say.
The two sides are expected to make progress on the proposal during the upcoming three-day visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Russia from June 19.
Earlier, during a recent trip to China, President Zardari and Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain also succeeded in convincing the Chinese leadership to take part in bidding for the construction of the IP gas pipeline.
Tehran has also offered to lay the pipeline in Pakistan’s territory on a supplier credit basis. According to an official of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Iran is ready to provide pipeline and compressors on a supplier credit basis for which payments could be made after two years.
Iran is also willing to provide $250 million as government-to-government credit and can extend some major portion of financing from its commercial banks. Pakistan seeks over $500 million to finance the pipeline project.
GPB Global Resources is engaged in petroleum and mineral resource projects in various parts of the globe including Africa, South America and the Middle East.
The petroleum ministry official said Stroyprogress Group, the contracting arm of Gazprom, had approached Pakistan to offer engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services with the support of GPB Global Resources.
“Our consortium is ready to fund this project with an EPC contract,” top management of Stroyprogress said in a letter sent to the government of Pakistan.
It claimed Stroyprogress Group was a well-known EPC contractor for construction of gas pipelines in Russia and had extensive work experience as the contracting arm of Gazprom.
The 42-inch diameter IP pipeline will transmit 750 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) to 1 bcfd of high-pressure gas from the off-take point near Gwadar to Nawabshah. The country is facing severe energy crisis and gas imported from Iran will be used for power generation to end load-shedding.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2012.
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