North-South gas pipeline’s BOOT agreement being negotiated

Pakistani and Russian experts are in process of holding negotiations on Build-Operate-Own-Transfer (BOOT) agreement to lay an 1100 kilometer gas pipeline from Lahore to Lahore (North-South) for which the two countries had signed an intergovernmental accord two years ago.

The project, costing around $2 billion, is facing delay due to some international sanctions on Russian company RT-Global Resources.

“The actual construction on the pipeline will start after finalisation of the contractual arrangement. Currently, the parties are negotiating the BOOT agreement. Pakistan has already communicated that any structure/arrangement needs to be sanctions free,” official sources told APP.

Answering a question, they also informed that the matter of US sanctions on the company was discussed with the Russian authorities, while the proposed solution by the Russian side was under evaluation by the energy and law ministries.

The sources said the agreement was signed on government-to-government level and not with any individual, adding, “If any Russian company had been blacklisted under any international sanction, Pakistan has nothing to do with it as Russia can assign the task to someone else.”

Under the project, around 12.4bcm (billion cubic meters) of gas would be transported per annum through a 42 inch diameter pipeline, they said and described the pipeline of great significance for Pakistan to supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to consumers in an efficient way.

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