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Pakistan needs energy help from Iran

  |   Aug. 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Tehran and Islamabad should move in harmony to expand bilateral energy relations as Pakistan struggles to overcome a looming energy crisis, officials say.

Islamabad and Tehran in June signed a bilateral deal for the proposed 1,724-mile Iran-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline. Pakistan would receive 750 million cubic feet per day from the South Pars gas field in Iran to generate electricity under the terms of a 25-year deal.

Mian Shaukat Masud, the president of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told a delegation from Tehran that Iran should increase energy exports to Pakistan, the Pakistani newspaper News International reports.

Pakistan is facing an acute energy crisis, he said, and Iran should enhance its exports to help Pakistan overcome power shortages.

He added trade between the two countries has yet to reach its full potential on a variety of fronts, as Iran has expressed interest in expanded electricity exports as well.

Iran agreed to a recent deal to extend a $55 million line of credit to Pakistan for transmission lines for 1,000 MW of electricity.

IPI overcame key hurdles with the June agreement, though pricing terms and security concerns continue to hamper development.

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