Construction work started on 700-km pipeline from China to Pakistan: Abbasi

Published July 20, 2015
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says  Pakistan has started construction work on a seven hundred-kilometre pipeline to import LNG from China. — Dawn/File
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says Pakistan has started construction work on a seven hundred-kilometre pipeline to import LNG from China. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Pakistan has started construction work on a seven hundred-kilometre pipeline to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from China, said a report on Radio Pakistan.

Speaking to Voice of America (VoA), Abbasi said the project will be jointly funded by Pakistan and China.

He also said that Gwadar port will be used as the central hub for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), allowing western China to gain access to warm waters from Pakistan.

Abbasi said funds from China, in relation to this project, will be beneficial to Pakistan for completion of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

He said Pakistan has been trying to overcome its energy crisis by importing gas from Iran, adding that sanctions on Iran had resulted in difficulties in the way of inching closer to completing the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project.

Take a look: ECC approves 700km LNG pipeline project

The CPEC, with a planned portfolio of projects totalling around $46 billion, will link Gwadar, Khuzdar and other areas on way to Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and Peshawar along its central route.

The eastern route will connect Gwadar to Ratodero, Sukkur, and Karachi and upward to cities in Punjab, and from there to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Khunjerab Pass.

There have been security concerns over much of the plan, which relies on developing Gwadar — control of which was passed to a Chinese company in 2013.

Linking Gwadar to the rest of Pakistan and the western Chinese city of Kashgar, 3,000 kilometres away, will involve major infrastructure work in Balochistan.

Balochistan is one of Pakistan's most unstable provinces and has been dogged for over a decade by a bloody separatist insurgency. Ethnic Baloch rebels have in the past blown up numerous gas pipelines and trains and attacked Chinese engineers.

Read more: The cup and the lip

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