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Pakistan, Iran sign deal for import of 1,000MW

Pakistan has signed an agreement with the Iran for importing 1,000 megawatt at 10 cents per unit, a senior official of the ministry of water and power told The News. The project is expected to materialise in the next four years.

“The tariff will be revised every three years after the commissioning of the project,” said the official. The memorandum of understanding between the two countries was signed in the last week of May 2012, he said.

Pakistan is already importing 75 megawatts of electricity from Iran. And the last time a Pakistani delegation headed by the federal minister for petroleum and natural resources visited Iran, Tehran offered to export 5,000 to 6,000 MW of electricity to Pakistan.

Under this new proposed project, said the official, Iran will build a powerhouse in Zahedan specifically to generate electricity for Pakistan and a 700-km transmission line will be laid from the Pak-Iran border to Quetta. From here, the electricity will be supplied to the national grid.

Giving details of the project, the official said the transmission line will be of 500KV direct current. According to him, Iran has indicated willingness to provide $800 million to $900 million for the project and that the Pakistan government is in the process of examining this offer.

This development comes at a time the government is engaged in the process of importing 500 MW of electricity from India. Not only has the World Bank expressed its willingness to fund the project, it has also earmarked funds for a study to analyse the feasibility of this project.

However, the ministry of water and power is currently embroiled in a debate about whether Pakistan should depend on India for electricity supplies. Earlier, New Delhi had abandoned the gas pipeline project from Iran, saying that Pakistan was not a credible partner and that India could not afford to have its industry dependent on gas passing through Pakistan.

As such, some authorities in the ministry are doubtful about whether the plan to import energy from India will materialise.

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