The North-South gas pipeline, 1122-km in length with a 42-inch diameter, and which would annually transport around 12.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of LNG from Karachi to Punjab in Pakistan, is expected to break ground in 2019 and be completed in 2020.
All of the technical aspects of the BOOT project have been finalized and now the matter will be vetted by the respective legal teams in the two principal countries, Russia and Pakistan.
The Russian company, RT Global Resources, will operate the pipeline for the first 25 years. Afterwards Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) of Pakistan will take control.
Meanwhile a committee has been constituted to determine tariffs for the North-South Gas pipeline project. Pakistan had already asked Russia to make a reduction in the tolling fee for pumping liquefied natural gas (LNG). The commercial agreement for the North-South Gas Pipeline will be signed by the end of December this year or early next year, sources said.
Both sides have worked diligently the last two years towards the agreement but the main stumbling block in the project’s execution is the US sanctions on the Russian company. The sanctions have been levied due to Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine.