Energy-starved Pakistan has started construction work on its 700 km pipeline to import liquefied natural gas from China.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the project will be jointly funded by Pakistan and China.
Chinese funds will benefit Pakistan and allow it to complete its Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, Abbasi said. Pakistan has been trying to overcome its energy crisis by importing gas from Iran, Abbasi said, adding that sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme had hampered the work on the project, Radio Pakistan reported on Monday.
He said Gwadar port will be the central hub for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), allowing Western China to gain access to the sea. The CPEC, with a planned portfolio of projects totaling around US $46 billion, will link Gwadar, Khuzdar and other areas on way to Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and Peshawar along its central route.
The CPEC passes through PoK, prompting India to voice concern over the project. There have been security concerns over much of the plan, which relies on developing Gwadar, control of which was passed to a Chinese company in 2013. Linking Gwadar to the rest of Pakistan and the western Chinese city of Kashgar, 3,000 kilometers away, will involve major infrastructure work in restive Balochistan.