Alexey Belogoryev, Deputy Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to Business FM on the prospects for the construction of the Pakistani Stream gas pipeline with the participation of Russian companies:
"The coordination has been going on for several years, it was complicated by the fact that sanctions were imposed against Rostec in 2020. As far as we can judge, next year, and maybe even during this year, all financial and legal issues will still be settled, and in 2024 it will be possible to start construction work directly. The project has been coordinated for so long, since 2015, that many issues, especially of a technical nature, have already been worked out in depth, so I don't think there will be serious delays here. The cost of financing, taking into account inflation, is now about 2.2-2.3 billion dollars, and the financing, judging by the information that is available, will be project-based. Whether it will be Pakistani capital, or someone else's, is not completely clear. The participation of Russian banks, given the sanctions problems, seems unlikely to me, that is, Russia will act as the general contractor of the construction. Russia will have a stake in the project itself, that is, it will continue to participate in its management. The essence of Russian participation, apparently, will be limited to this. I don't think there will be political obstacles, there were initially fears that it was China that might be dissatisfied with the strengthening of Russia's position in the Pakistani market, but China has never opposed it in all these years, as long as the project is being discussed. The project has been agreed on at the political level for a long time, the United States also did not object to its implementation. Since the gas pipeline is not interstate, it is purely an internal Pakistani infrastructure, and we are talking mainly about construction services, Russian companies will not gain control over the gas transportation infrastructure of Pakistan. They will have a share, but it does not mean political control that could frighten the United States or other allies of Pakistan."
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