Islamabad - Gwadar-Nawabshah Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal and Pipeline Project is part of China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), official documents have revealed.

Interestingly, a federal minister has recently told the Parliamentary Committee on Petroleum that no RLNG terminal/pipeline project is part of the CPEC. It seems there is a communication gap between the Ministry of Planning and other ministries, as the Federal minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources had last week told Senate’s Standing Committee that Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project was not part of the CPEC.

Documents, related to the progress on CPEC projects, available with The Nation, have clearly shown Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project as part of the CPEC.

According to the documents, negotiations for a commercial contract with China over Petroleum Pipeline Bureau are in progress.

In a presentation given to the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on CPEC last month, it was informed that there was one project of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, listed among the CPEC projects, and that was Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline project.

The minister was also informed that detailed site survey of the LNG terminal had already been conducted by CPP.

“Two conclusions can be drawn from the petroleum minister's statement that he made in front of a parliamentary committee: either the minister is completely unaware of the CPEC projects or the government is intentionally trying to hide the truth,” an official source said.

Take the case of Orange Line Train project, which was first shown as part of the CPEC, but now the government has changed its stance which now says it is not related to the CPEC.

Under the RLNG project plan, a terminal will be set up at Gwadar port and 700km long RLNG pipeline will be laid from Gwadar to Nawabshah.

A Chinese firm will build new terminal – a floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU). The terminal will have the capacity to handle imports of 500 million cubic feet of LNG per day (mmcfd).

The LNG pipeline, which will be of 42-inch diameter, will be laid from Gwadar to Nawabshah. The Chinese government would provide 85 percent funds of the project, while Pakistan would contribute 15 percent of funds.

This project will work as an alternative to the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project and after the completion of Gwadar-Nawabshah pipeline, only about 70km of pipeline segment between Gwadar and Iranian border would be left which could be constructed at the cost of $200 million to connect to the border.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has already approved construction of 700km Gwadar-Nawabshah pipeline to transport Re-Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG).

“The secretive behaviour of the federal government is making this vital national project controversial,” the official said, adding the government should come forward and show the official documents of what comes under the CPEC.