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Moscow “is eager to invest USD 1.7 billion in the SNGPL Karachi-Lahore gas pipeline

Islamabad: Russian Ambassador Danila V Ganich said that Moscow “is eager to invest USD 1.7 billion in the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited’s (SNGPL) Karachi-Lahore gas pipeline”.

The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) is considering to construct the 1100 km-long Karachi-Lahore gas pipeline – also known as the North-South gas pipeline. Reportedly, the SNGPL officials expect the total cost of the project at USD 1 billion.

The Russian ambassador stated the current trade volume (between the two countries) stood at USD 500 million – which is encouraging but is still far from its full potential. He associated the insufficient trade volume with minimal direct commercial ties and lack of knowledge regarding each other’s business practices and potential.

Furthermore, it is reported that Petroleum Additional Secretary Muhammad Ayub Chaudhry has endorsed the proposal ostensibly to serve the larger national interest and benefit the treasury. He recommended introducing competitive bidding process for the construction of the pipeline and revealed that the SNGPL possesses the resources and capability to lay down 42-inch diameter gas pipeline at USD 1 billion – which is lower than the previously estimated cost of USD 2.7 billion.

Earlier, a Russian firm ETK was being considered to award the USD 2.7 billion contract for the construction of said pipeline but was eliminated based on lack of relevant experience.

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