Pakistan is planning to import an additional 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Iran after the conclusion of the construction work on a transmission line.
“Pakistan’s National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDC) has completed the construction work of 29km long, double-circuit transmission line from Polan to Gwadar,” The News reported on February 7, adding that this transmission system will be able to import an additional 100 MW from Iran.
The testing of Circuit-II of the transmission line was completed on February 6, whereas the testing of Circuit-I was supposed to be carried out on February 7. The evacuation of an additional 100 MW of power will be started through this transmission line in the next few days.
“This import of additional power from Iran will be beneficial for the people of Gwadar and Makran divisions in terms of power adequacy and reduction in load shedding, and will increase the confidence of the key business players and investors to tap the opportunities provided by the Gwadar region,” the report added.
In June 2022, the governments of Pakistan and Iran signed an agreement for the import of 100MW of additional electricity to meet the needs of Gwadar. According to the head of the Gwadar Development Authority, the city will have additional electricity from Iran starting March 1.
On January 23, several regions of Pakistan suffered a power cut following a breakdown in the national electricity grid. Pakistan’s Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir said that the breakdown was not a “major crisis,” and added that power generation systems were temporarily closed at night during winter as an economic measure to save fuel costs.
This is the second major power outage in Pakistan since October 2022 and it comes at a time when the country is dealing with the economic and energy crisis.
Meanwhile, Iran was also expected to start gas supply to the Pakistani port of Gwadar under the CPEC project from December 2022.
In late January, Iran urged Pakistan to construct a portion of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) Gas Pipeline Project on its territory till February-March 2024, which was agreed by the sides, or pay the fine in the amount of $18 billion. Iran had already completed its segment of the pipeline, which begins from the gas field and stretches to the Pakistan border. The Pakistani government announced in October 2022 that Islamabad was “sincerely considering different solutions to resume work on the IP Gas Pipeline Project in order to meet the country’s energy needs on a sustainable basis while following the internal laws.”
In recent months, Iran and Pakistan have taken several steps to strengthen energy cooperation. Boosting energy ties was a main topic of talks between Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (SCO) in Samarkand in mid-September 2022.
In late October, the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, said Tehran was ready to provide petrol, electricity and natural gas to Islamabad at cheap rates to help cope with the worsening situation.