EghtesadOnline: Islamabad is willing to renew its electricity import deal with Tehran. Omar Ayub Khan, the water and power minister, made the statement on Tuesday in Islamabad in a meeting with Iran's ambassador, Mehdi Honardoust, IRNA reported.
"Negotiations are underway and the agreement to import 104 megawatts from Iran will be renewed," Ayub Khan said.
The two sides have "brotherly cooperation" and Pakistan welcomes the opportunity to expand power and energy collaboration with Iran, he said.
He expressed the hope that talks with Iran on renewing the contract to import electricity would produce the desired results, according to Financial Tribune.
Pakistan signed a deal with Iran to import 34 MW of power in 2002. The mutual agreement later raised the export volume to 104 MW per annum.
Given the regular rise in demand for power in the neighboring country and lack of proper infrastructure, Pakistani officials have said they would like to double the volume.
Iran's Energy Ministry says electricity is exported to Pakistan via three transmission lines from the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
"A 230/63-kilovolt substation went on stream in Sistan-Baluchistan last year in the framework of plans to boost export to Pakistan," Honardoust said.
The Jakigur 230/63 kV substation, which cost $6 million, has stabilized power export to the eastern neighbor.
The diplomat noted that a new 220 kV line is under construction in Chabahar that can expand power export to Pakistan by 200 MW.
Need for Natural Gas
Pakistan also needs natural gas from Iran to feed its power plants. The country’s Minister of Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan said last month Islamabad “is willing to complete the IP gas pipeline.”
The long-delayed IP pipeline project - also called Peace Pipeline - is a 1,957 kilometer pipeline that will supply gas from Iran’s South Pars fields to Pakistan's two major cities -- Karachi and Multan.
Iran has fulfilled its commitment and long ago built its share of the pipeline inside its territory (1,172km from Asalouyeh to the joint border) and is waiting for Islamabad to do its share and complete the remaining 785km on its territory.
According to Pakistani news outlets, from chronic load shedding to electricity theft, heavy transmission and distribution losses to massive non-payment of dues, the country's power sector is prone to every problem imaginable despite attempts by various governments over the years to fix the system.
Over 140 million Pakistanis (of the total 197 million population) either have no access to the power grid or have to make do with over 12 hours of load shedding every day.
The average power shortfall is 4,000 megawatts while the gas deficit is said to be 57 million cubic meters per day.