labels: oil & gas, economy - general
World Bank offers to fund Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline projectnews
02 May 2007

Mumbai: The World Bank has expressed its readiness to fund the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and described the $7 billion project as a `win-win deal'' despite US reservations about the project.

World Bank vice president Praful Patel said although the bank has not been approached by Pakistan to this effect formally or informally, the bank was ready to fund as and when approached.

"IPI gas pipeline project is a win-win project for Pakistan and India besides being good and quite feasible in catering to the energy needs of Pakistan and India," he said.

If the IPI project materialises, Pakistan would get an annual transit fee from India, which would play a pivotal role in strengthening its economy, Patel said.

He said the bank also supports the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline project. "If Pakistan would come to ask for funding for any of the pipelines, the World Bank would seriously consider extending the funding," he said.

The bank would give a serious consideration to finance these projects if approached, he said.

An Iranian oil official, meanwhile, suggested that Iran would welcome any involvement by the Russian oil giant Gazprom in the project, adding it would speed progress.

Gholam-Hossein Nozari, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company, did not say whether Iran had been in contact with Gazprom on the issue and failed to provide details on what kind of participation he had in mind.

"Gazprom is a capable and big company and if it enters the peace pipeline, it will help with the progress and speed up the operation," Iranian news agency ISNA quoted him as saying.

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World Bank offers to fund Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project