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Russian team discusses energy projects

Dr. Asim Hussain, adviser to the prime minister on petroleum and natural resources, has welcomed the interest shown by the Russian Federation in Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan pipeline projects, and expressed the confidence over the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

He said this, while meeting 12-member Russian delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation H.E. Y.P. Sentyurin, who called on the adviser on Thursday. Ejaz Chaudhry, secretary petroleum, and other senior officers of the ministry were also present on the occasion.

The secretary petroleum briefed the delegation on the latest position of the TAPI and IP pipeline projects and emphasised upon expanding the bilateral treaty framework of cooperation in the oil and gas sector. The delegation was informed that the ministry had extensively worked on shale and tight gas policies that would be of interest to the Russian government.

Dr. Hussain said that Pakistan’s approach towards meeting its energy requirements is of urgent nature and completion of mega gas projects, including TAPI and IP is the top priority. He also appreciated the in principle decision of the Russian Federation regarding cooperation in TAPI and IP projects.

It was agreed between the two sides that the details of the two mega gas projects would be shared immediately and financial modalities would remain negotiable.

Representatives of Russian companies, including Gazprom EP and PJSC Stroytransgaz also briefed the adviser on the possible expertise that could be provided for the projects.

The 12-member Russian delegation is visiting Pakistan in connection with the second meeting of the Russian-Pakistani Joint Working Group on Energy Cooperation.

Meanwhile, the Russian delegation also called on Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, federal minister for water and power, and discussed various matters of mutual interest and cooperation in the energy sector.

The meeting was also attended by secretary water and power, Zafar Mehmood, additional secretary Hamid Ali Khan, CEO of Genco Holding Company, Naveed Ismail, adviser on energy import and other senior officials, it said.

The Russian delegation expressed interest to invest $500 million in the CASA-1000 project for the establishment of power transmission system from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the statement said, adding that the two sides also expressed interest in modernisation and rehabilitation of Muzaffargarh and Guddu thermal power plants and conversion of them into cheaper fuel such as coal.

Welcoming the delegation, Mukhtar appreciated the interest expressed by them in the water and power sector and offered them modernisation of the existing hydroelectric plants, participation for the construction of 500kV transmission line for import of 1,000MW from Iran to Pakistan and other projects such as Tarbela fourth extension, coal, renewable energy, and transmission line projects, it said.

The minister said that Russian companies had already developed various big projects in Pakistan and the people of Pakistan will welcome their participation in the mega projects in the water and power sector, the statement said, adding that Pakistan is committed with long and stable cooperation with Russia.

The Russian delegation also showed their interest in the power sector and discussed various other projects for investment, it said.

Pakistan and Russia also agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the energy sector and a draft will be prepared for consideration.

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