Pakistan’s Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said Pakistan has initiated the Pak-Russia gas pipeline project to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries.

The minister was speaking to a TV channel, where he said that the Pakistan-Stream Gas Pipeline Project (PSGP) will meet Pakistan’s energy needs and hoped the project will be completed by the end of 2023.

“We want our relations with Russia to be further strengthened, and today there is a sustainable way to improve relations through economic relations,” Azhar said.

The Pakistan-Russia gas pipeline is the first evidence of this economic involvement after a very long time, he said. “We started working with Russia to develop steel plants in the 1970s, after which there were no major projects between the parties,” he said.

The Federal Minister further said that the government is planning more projects with Russia in the near future. “We also want to improve our trade relations with Russia through the countries of Central Asia,” Azhar said.

Speaking about financing the project, he said that Pakistan owns 74% of the PSGP shares, while the Russian side will own 26%.

Last week, Pakistan and Russia signed an agreement to build a $ 2.5 billion Pakistan-Stream gas pipeline (PSGP) having lenght of 1,040 kilometers ranging from Port Qasim, Karachi to Kasur.

Hammad said the project has a capacity of handling 1,600 million cubic meters per day and could be expanded to over 2,000 million cubic meters per day by installing more compressors.

He announced that companies of international repute are providing design and engineering consultation on the pipeline project, while local companies are involved in the construction of the pipeline.

The Federal minister said that technical negotiations regarding financing and planning will begin in the next 30 days.

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