By Kamila Aliyeva
The multi-billion dollars worth of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project initiated by the energy-rich Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan which strives to expand its gas export routes is progressing slowly but surely.
The implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline project is delayed due to a decrease in gas prices and a crisis on the energy market, Afghan Ambassador to Turkmenistan Mirwais Nab believes.
"Unfortunately, the companies that signed a contract for the development of the Galkynysh gas field could not accurately predict gas prices," he said, the Afghan 1TV channel reported.
Nevertheless, the ambassador stressed that Turkmenistan will continue work on the construction of the gas pipeline section on its territory.
The pipeline will be laid till the border with Afghanistan by July 2018, according to the Afghan envoy.
Turkmenistan regards developing the Galkynysh field and building TAPI pipeline from this field as one of its strategically important areas.
The TAPI pipeline will link the regions of Central Asia and South Asia and transport up to 33 bcm of natural gas. Turkmen gas will help cover the growing need for blue fuel in India and Pakistan, where by 2030, the needs could jump up by half. The pipe will also reduce the constant shortage of energy resources in transit Afghanistan.
The construction of the Turkmen section of the TAPI was launched in December 2015. The total length of the pipeline is 1,814 kilometers, including 214 kilometers in the territory of Turkmenistan, 774 kilometers in Afghanistan, 826 kilometers of Pakistan to the settlement of Fazilka on the border with India. The project's preliminary cost is estimated at $10 billion.
The trans-regional energy project expected to be inaugurated in 2019 is being hailed as a major initiative for bringing peace and enhancing connectivity in the region.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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