Islamabad (dpa) – Pakistan has started construction on a
700-kilometre pipeline to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from
China, a minister says, months after Beijing signed 46 billion
dollars in investment deals with Islamabad.
The project would help Pakistan overcome years of energy shortages,
Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan said in Islamabad on Tuesday.
The Chinese and Pakistani governments will jointly fund the pipeline
which will pass through the mountainous Himalayan valleys, Khaqan
Energy-starved Pakistan has for years been trying to build a pipeline
to import natural gas from its south-western neighbour Iran, but the
project couldn’t move ahead because of the opposition from Western
Khaqan said Islamabad would still be interested in buying the from
Iran if sanctions against Tehran were eased following its nuclear
deal with major world powers this month.
“At the moment, import from China looks more viable option,” he said.
The Chinese government announced this year it would spend 46 billion
dollars to build a trade corridor to link its north-western city of
Kashghar to Gwadar port in south-western Pakistan.
The project is seen as the shortest-possible Chinese gateway to the
Middle East, Europe and beyond.