ISLAMABAD: Russian energy giant Gazprom has expressed keen interest in supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Pakistan, which has already signed an inter-governmental agreement with Moscow for the construction of a north-south LNG pipeline.
“Gazprom is interested in entering the Pakistani market with LNG; this will ensure maximum supply in the pipeline,” Viktor Ivanov, Co-chairman of the Russia-Pakistan Inter-governmental Commission, was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency Tass on Friday.
“Gazprom has the capacity to pump up to 12 billion cubic metres of LNG (per year),” he said.
According to the inter-governmental agreement, RT-Global Resources, which is part of the Russian state corporation Rostec, will undertake the building of the north-south pipeline.
The pipeline, spread over 1,100 km, will link LNG terminals in the southern port city of Karachi to the northern city of Lahore. A period of 42 months will be required to complete its construction.
The whole project will be implemented in three stages. In the first stage, the pipeline will be built by the second quarter of 2018. In the second phase, some compressor stations will be completed by the second quarter of 2019 and in the third phase, all compressor stations will be commissioned by the second quarter of 2020 to run the pipeline at full capacity, which is 12.4 billion cubic meters a year.
The project will open up a new market for Russian companies.
According to RT-Global Resources General Director Andrey Korobov, the project’s implementation will imply maximum involvement of Russian producers and contractors. In particular, Rostec was considering attracting United Engine Corporation as a supplier of equipment for compressor stations of the pipeline, he said.
Pakistan’s state gas supplying company is acting as a partner customer in the project and will provide gas transportation services. The government of Pakistan will issue a sovereign guarantee for project financing.
The Russian side is considering the possibility of attracting loans from Russian and Chinese development banks with the support of export credit agencies.