ADB ready to provide finance to Pak for IPI project

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Islamabad, Apr 22 : Sources in Pakistan's Petroleum Ministry has claimed that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has assured Islamabad to provide financing for materialising the billion dollars Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.

ADB country director Peter L Feden reportedly gave this assurance to Pakistan Petroleum Minister Khawaja Asif at a meeting last Friday, said the sources.

They said that the ADB had conveyed to Pakistan, that besides sponsoring TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline project, it was ready to provide financing for other major gas pipeline project too.

If it joins the project, Pakistan will import 2.2 billion cubic feet gas per day from Iran that will be shared by India. The cost of the IPI gas pipeline has been estimated over 7 billion dollars, whereas TAPI gas pipeline project is estimated around 6-7 billion dollars.

"Government of Pakistan, after signing IPI gas pipeline deal with Iran, will prepare the feasibility report of the project and financial plan would be chalked out to seek financing from international financial institutions, ADB may be the main contributor in this regard," the Daily Times quoted the sources as saying.

Sources said that Indian Minister for oil, Murli Deora, would arrive Islamabad on Tuesday (today) evening to attend the meeting of steering committee on TAPI gas pipeline deal. The meeting will start on April 23 and conclude the following day. It will be attended by all petroleum ministers. After participating in the steering committee meeting, the Indian Minister will also discuss IPI gas pipeline with Pakistan on 25 April.

Sources said that India has formally joined the TAPI gas pipeline project, as earlier it has been attending the meeting of steering committee on TAPI as an observer, now it will participate as the fourth stake holder.

Two-day technical level talks on the TAPI started in Islamabad on Monday to discuss technical issues of the project. Pakistan would import 3.2 billion cubic feet gas from Turkmenistan, which would be shared by Pakistan and India.

Turkmenistan claims to have gas reserves of 159 trillion cubic feet from its Dauletabad fields and sources said that progress would be made on the project after Turkmenistan presents certification about the gas reserves.

ANI

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