Pakistan's Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry has issued pre-qualification of engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning tender for the project, sources said.
Inter State Gas Systems, an auxiliary organization of the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry, issued the tender for pre-qualification (PQ) as Iran offered $500 million to Pakistan to build its part of the pipeline.
The document invites pre-qualification for a pipeline to transport high pressure natural gas from an off-take point near the port city of Gwadar to a gas integration point near Nawabshah.
Agencies cited an unnamed technical manager at ISGS as saying, "We expect that it should be about 50-60 days from the final day of submission. It will also depend on the number of applicants."
"We would hope to start construction for the project by end of this year."
Islamabad last month approached Russia's Gazprom to invest in the pipeline project.
"Iran is willing to raise its offer to speed up start of the project," the petroleum ministry official said.
Iran and Pakistan in 2010 agreed to build the pipeline between Assalouyeh in southern Iran to Pakistan. The cost estimate to build the Pakistani section is around $1.5 billion.
Pakistan is facing a severe gas shortage and has so far been unwilling to give up the 1 Bcf/d of gas Iran has agreed to supply it through the pipeline.
Tehran and Islamabad are also due to hold negotiations soon on the supply of 70,000-80,000 b/d of Iranian crude to Pakistan, the official said.
The project can be offered either on EPC or turnkey basis as per PQ document. Similarly, the contractor will be bound to install three compressors between Iranian border and Nawabshah as well as the construction pipeline within two years.
The documents also made it clear that there would be exemption of General Sales Tax (GST), duties, taxes and services over the imported machinery and the companies interested in the construction of the pipeline could submit their technical and financial proposals till June 8 along with a deposit of non-refundable Rs5000 or equivalent as processing fee. Again, foreign contractors not registered with Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) will have to submit an undertaking to get themselves registered with PEC before the award of contract to them.
Similarly, PQ applicants are required to have an implemented Quality Management System that complies with the requirement of the latest edition of ISO-9000, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certificates.