Shulginov and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Russia, Shafqat Ali Khan, signed a protocol giving the go-ahead for work to begin soon on the project.
The two countries initially signed an agreement on the “North-South” project back in 2015 and called for it to be completed in 2018, but deadlines were repeatedly put back.
The Russian side of the work is to be undertaken by a company set up by the Energy Ministry’s “Centre for operational services” – the Eurasian Pipeline Consortium and Metallurgical Pipe Company. Russia will be responsible for 26 % of the project. The Pakistani side of the line will be handled by Inter State Gas Systems.
Shulginov said plans now call for the gas pipeline to be completed by 2025 if stable financing can be provided. Russia is to build the line and Pakistan is to supply the gas — and a regasification plant is to be build in the port of Karachi.
According to data from the Russian Energy Ministry, the pipeline is to cost $1.5-2 trillion. Exploratory work is already underway.
Pakistan has already come up with 75 % of the required financing for the project, according to Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister, Anatoly Yanovsky.
“If it works this way, Russian companies will take on 25 %. If it doesn’t, we will come up with an agreement,” Yanovsky said.