TEHRAN (FNA)- Pakistan signed an agreement with Iran to import 1,000 megawatts of electricity to overcome the power shortage in the country and Iran would finance the project’s completion, a senior official in Pakistan’s Water and Power Ministry said on Sunday.
The official said that the agreement was inked after negotiations during the 17th session of the Iran-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) that was held on June 28-29 in Tehran.
He told Daily Times that Pakistan also planned to import 100MW for the Gwadar Port and 1,000MW for other parts of the country, adding that Pakistan, the National Engineering Services of Pakistan (NESPAK) and a consultant from Iran would hold a joint feasibility study for the project.
Pakistan has provided Rs 50 million for the feasibility study and the remaining amount would be provided by Iran.
The source said that the government had asked NESPAK to complete the feasibility study of the project, adding that it had already started working on it.
The official went on to say that Iran had assured the government of Pakistan regarding the financing for the laying of infrastructure including the transmission line.
He said that the transmission line would be linked with Quetta to supply power there.
Pakistan was already importing 40MW electricity daily from Iran at 3.2 cents per unit for Baluchestan.
The source asserted that the imported electricity was cheaper than the electricity produced by the Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
Yet, he said that Pakistan would need to develop its infrastructure to import more electricity from Iran.
The official also mentioned that following the hike in fuel prices, the Pakistani government was currently getting the electricity from the IPPs at 16 to 20 cents/kwh.
He said that Pakistan would be receiving power from Iran in the next five years that would cost 10 cents/kwh, adding that the power import from Iran and Tajikistan were medium-term solutions to overcome the power shortages in Pakistan that would widen following the pace of the growing economy in future.
Pakistan had also signed an agreement with Tajikistan to import 1,000MW of electricity that would be commissioned in 2013.
The official said that the construction of dams like Bhasha would take almost 10 years whereas power import from Iran and Tajikistan would help Pakistan meet its energy requirements more quickly.
Pakistan is presently facing a power deficit of around 4,000MW. It would need to add 6,000MW to the national grid in a year so as to end the load shedding in the country.