Visit to Central Asia: PM to push for early start of gas, power supply

Published: May 12, 2015
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A strategy will also come up for review in order to step up work on the projects as the Pakistan government wants to end the power crisis by the end of 2018 — when the next general elections are due. PHOTO: REUTERS

A strategy will also come up for review in order to step up work on the projects as the Pakistan government wants to end the power crisis by the end of 2018 — when the next general elections are due. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit Turkmenistan and the Kyrgyz Republic on May 20 and 21 to push for going ahead with energy supply in an effort to address shortages in the country and integrate with regional economies, officials say.

Apart from the energy cooperation, Pakistan is likely to enter into agreements with the two countries in other areas as well.

According to officials, the Foreign Office held a meeting with the ministries concerned on Monday to prepare the agenda for the premier’s trip. He will go to Turkmenistan on May 20 and visit the Kyrgyz Republic on May 21.

The government is currently in the process of executing gas and power import agreements with the two Central Asian nations. From Turkmenistan, Pakistan will import gas and from the Kyrgyz Republic it will purchase electricity.

During high-level talks, the prime minister will discuss the progress on the energy supply programmes. A strategy will also come up for review in order to step up work on the projects as the Pakistan government wants to end power crisis by the end of 2018, when next general elections will be due. For gas import, a pipeline will be built that will start from Turkmenistan and reach India after snaking through Afghanistan and Pakistan. The cost of this project, called Tapi pipeline, may go up to $10 billion because of delay in start of work. Earlier, the cost was estimated at $7.5 billion.

The above four nations are locked in negotiations for the award of a multibillion-dollar contract to French energy giant Total as well as a Chinese and a Russian firm.

Officials say Turkmenistan will sign a service contract with these companies to pave the way for extraction of gas from the country’s fields. One of the companies will be picked to lead a consortium that will finance and lay the gas pipeline.

The prime minister wants all stakeholders to start work on the project as swiftly as possible as the cost will continue to rise. The pipeline, which will spread over 1,680 km, will have the capacity to bring 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per annum from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

In the meeting at the Foreign Office, a representative of the Ministry of Water and Power recalled that Pakistan and Central Asian countries had signed the Master Agreement for the Central Asia-South Asia (Casa) 1000 project and a related power purchase accord was inked in the third week of April in Istanbul.

The transmission tariff is estimated at 2.98 cents per kilowatt hour, energy tariff at 5.51 cents, Afghan transit fee at 1.25 cents and transit fee for Tajikistan at 0.1 cent for the flow of Kyrgyz electricity.

“The prime minister will be updated on the power supply project during his visit to the Kyrgyz Republic,” said the official.

The Casa-1000 project involves transportation of surplus electric power available in summer months – May 1 to September 30 – from the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The exporting countries have suggested that they will be able to deliver 4,000 gigawatt hours of energy in a normal year and 4,434 gigawatt hours in a wet year.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • kickass
    May 12, 2015 - 10:32AM

    But there are no Waldrof Astorias there! Very brave.Recommend

  • raider
    May 12, 2015 - 10:51AM

    Mr. pm what is you and yours team contribution in any development in Pakistan, you are habitual of hiring of every thing from abroad, like motorway, metro etc, these are the skills of Chinese, Koreans and Turkish , what is contribution of Pakistan in these projects, it is royal family rule who always hire everything from other now even begging army, shame on you and gulfs with zero skill in your own country and claims Pakistan to be Asian tiger by importing everything from others Recommend

  • Sami
    May 12, 2015 - 12:57PM

    Good to see govt pursuing multiple strategies in resolving energy crisis. TAPI pipeline, CASA 1000, Solar/Wind projects, Nuclear Plants in Chashma & Karachi, Karot, Neelum-Jehlum hydro projects, Coal Plants in Port Qasim, Thar Sahiwal & LNG. I am confident that energy crisis will be resolved once and for all if govt is allowed to work.Recommend

  • Faraz
    May 12, 2015 - 7:13PM

    Proud of u Nawaz Sharif. Ur vision is to finish the load shedding by 2018 then go for election. IK knows very well that if MNS complete its tenure the 2018 election would definitely go to Pmln. Inshallah by the end of 2017 or at beginning of 2018 there will be a different Pakistan in terms of infarastructure development through out Pakistan and also removal of load shedding. Recommend

  • raider
    May 12, 2015 - 11:40PM

    @Faraz:
    salute to your conscience, a metro confined just to Lahore was installed in 5 years, a motorway from Lahore to Islamabad was installed in two tenures, by 2018 would be the start of end of pmln because load shedding could never be put to end in presence of this old infrastructure of power generation and single mega construction project not to complete till 2018.Recommend

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