The Asian Development Bank interested in TAPI project

By Vusala Abbasova

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is keen on cooperation with Turkmenistan within the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, which will transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan.

ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang expressed his bank's interest at a recent meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Zhang said the Bank intends to provide technical and financial support for the implementation of major investment projects, including the construction of the multi-billion transnational TAPI gas pipeline.

The EU and U.S. are also providing support for the TAPI pipeline project. The goal is to make the pipeline operational by 2016.

ADB experts have predicted a high level of growth in Turkmenistan's GDP until the end of current year.

The ADB intends to support Turkmenistan’s small and medium-sized enterprises as well as training programs.

Currently, there are prospects for further successful relations between Turkmenistan and the ADB and the country is ready to discuss new proposals for cooperation with the Bank.

The sides highlighted the banking and financial spheres, fuel and energy security, transport, and communications, while discussing the top priority spheres of cooperation.

A range of projects of national and international importance were implemented between Turkmenistan and the ADB, including the construction of the North-South Railway project, Berdimuhamedov said.

He also added that the mutually beneficial cooperation with reputable international financial organizations has priority importance for the country.

The TAPI is a large pipeline project that will create significant windows of opportunity for construction and will offer many employment opportunities.

TAPI gas will serve as a source of power and energy for industries. Establishing gas-based medium capacity power plants and gas-consuming industries will be productive and useful investments.

Such power plants and grids will provide solid investment opportunities for domestic and international manufacturers and allow small industries the chance to grow and create needed jobs.

Turkmenistan's Turkmengas State Concern was endorsed as the consortium leader of TAPI Pipeline Company Ltd. by the Steering Committee of the TAPI gas pipeline.

The pipeline will be designed to carry 33 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas annually, and both Pakistan and India through state-owned companies would each purchase 42 percent of that volume.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan would purchase 16 percent and will be entitled to receive a transit fee for the use of its territory from each of the other TAPI gas buyers.

The pipeline would run for nearly 1,735 kilometers, including 735 kilometers across Afghanistan and another 800 kilometers through Pakistan.

The ADB has approved $125 million in lending to Turkmenistan as of December 31, 2014. Further loans worth $210 million and grants of roughly $1 million will be provided to the country within the 2015-2016 country's operations business plan.

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