Azerbaijan, Baku, Mar.2/ Trend F.Milad
An Iranian-Pakistani consortium will start work next week on a much delayed gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan.
A Pakistani official confirmed that the start date is March 11th.
The date was announced after Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, held talks with Iranian officials in Tehran.
The pipeline is nearly complete on the Iranian side. But Pakistan has difficulties in financing the project.
Iran and Pakistan have devised a plan to finance the gas pipeline on Pakistan's side without the need for Islamabad to transfer funds to Tehran.
Based on the agreement, Tehran will grant a $500-million loan to Tehran-based Tadbir Energy Development Group, which is responsible for laying a pipeline in Pakistan under the multi-billion-dollar project.
In the first phase, Iran will lend 250 million dollars and extend the assistance later to 500 million dollars.
Based on the agreement that was reached in Islamabad last month, Pakistan will pay back Iran's $500-million loan after peace pipeline's inauguration.
The pipeline is projected to come on stream in 2014.
The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, projected to cost 1.2-1.5 billion dollars, would enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis.
Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.