$46b LNG Pipeline From China to Pakistan

 $46b LNG Pipeline From China to Pakistan $46b LNG Pipeline From China to Pakistan

Pakistani Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said construction work has commenced on a 700-km pipeline to import liquefied natural gas from China.

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

He also said Gwadar Port will be used as a central hub for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, allowing western China to gain access to warm waters from Pakistan.

The CPEC, with a planned portfolio of projects totaling 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 kilometers 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

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

"Pakistan has been trying to overcome its energy crisis by importing gas from Iran," he said, referring to the sanctions against Iran, which had resulted in difficulties in the way of inching closer to completing the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project.

The official said on July 15 that Pakistan will start building its side of the pipeline in September, with a Chinese company doing the work. In April, Pakistan held negotiations with China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, a subsidiary of Chinese energy major China National Petroleum Corporation, to finance 85% of the project; Pakistan will pay the rest.

“Pakistan will complete an 80-kilometer section within six months of sanctions' removal,” Abbasi said. “The entire 800 kilometers of the pipeline in Pakistan will be completed in about 30 months.”

Abbasi said Iran still needs to complete 200 kilometers of the pipeline. So far, about 80% of the pipe-laying on the Iranian side of the border (1,100 km from a total 1,400 km) have been completed, according to Iranian officials.