Russia expresses interest in power projects
ISLAMABAD: The Russian Federation has informed Pakistan of its interest to invest $500 million in the CASA-1000 projects for the establishment of power transmission system from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Russian delegation is visiting Pakistan in connection with Second Meeting of the Russian-Pakistani Joint Working Group on Energy Cooperation.
Russian State Secretary and Deputy Energy Minister, Y. P. Sentyurin held talks with Federal Minister for Water and Power Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar here on Thursday.
The positive outcome of Sentyurin-Mukhtar talks was the decision to sign a memorandum of understanding by the two countries that will allow Russia to enter into the area of energy production in Pakistan.
Both sides expressed interest in modernisation and rehabilitation of Muzaffargarh and Guddu thermal power plants.
The energy officials of the two countries will draft the agreement for consideration by their respective governments, and after approval the MoU will be signed, according to officials of the ministry of water and power.
The Russian delegation also showed its interest for mutually beneficial cooperation in the energy sector and discussed various projects for investment.
Sentyurin who was leading a six-member delegation informed Mukhtar about Russian interest for cooperation in the water and power sector and offered to modernise the existing hydro-electric plants, participate in the construction of 500KV transmission line for import of 1000MW from Iran to Pakistan and other projects like fourth extension project of Tarbela dam, coal, renewable energy and transmission line projects.
It is worth mentioning that Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan have already signed a protocol in Dubai last month for early completion of the regional electricity transmission project which provides for 1000MW power supply to Pakistan.
The Russian delegation also met with Dr Asim Hussain, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum, and expressed interest in Russian participation in Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan Indian (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline projects.
The delegation was informed that Pakistan was working on ‘Shale and Tight Gas’ policies that would be of interest to the Russian Government.
Sentyurin informed about the in-principle decision of Russian Federation regarding cooperation in TAPI and IP projects.
Representatives of Russian companies including Gazprom EP and PJSC Stroytransga briefed on possible expertise that could be provided for the TAPI & IP projects. Ejaz Chaudhry, Secretary Petroleum briefed the delegation on latest position of TAPI and IP pipeline projects and emphasised on expanding the bilateral treaty framework of cooperation in oil and gas sector.
The delegation was informed that TAPI was a 1,680 km long pipeline project scheduled to become operational by 2018 at the cost of $7.6 billion. India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan have already signed the gas sale purchase agreement (GSPA) in May 2012.
Dr Asim said that work at Iran –Pakistan gas pipeline was in progress and it was expected to become operational by 2015.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the Asian Development Bank, headed by Klaus Gerhaeusser, Director-General, Central West Asia Department held talks with Federal Minister for Water and Power Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar on Thursday.
The ADB official pledged support for mega water sector projects including Basha dam and said the project is equally important for ADB since Pakistan attaches high priority to the dam project. The bank has provided $1.5 billion for various energy sector projects and will continue its financial and technical support for other projects, the official said.