By Aynur Karimova
A feasibility study for the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, with a proposed capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, has been completed.
The announcement was made by Chin Choon Fong, a senior advisor at the Central and West Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank, on September 14.
“The parties are currently discussing how to move forward,” he told Trend. “Pipeline construction will begin after developmental activities have been completed, including detailed design and route survey and financing arrangements.”
Earlier, Chin Choon Fong told Trend that the construction of the pipeline could take about three years to complete.
The TAPI project will extend from Galkynysh field in Turkmenistan through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar to its final point at a settlement in the Pakistani-Indian border.
The ADB was appointed as the transaction advisor for the TAPI gas pipeline project in November 2013. In that role, the ADB advised that the TAPI pipeline company be created as an integral part of the larger goal of identifying and selecting a commercial consortium leader to spearhead the construction and operation of the pipeline.
When selected, the commercial consortium leader will take a substantial stake in the company.
In October 2014 the ADB awarded British Penspen Company a contract to carry out a feasibility study for the construction of the pipeline. Penspen awarded a sub-contract to the Netherlands-based Royal HaskoningDHV, an international engineering, consultancy and project management firm, to undertake the important environmental and social safeguards components of the study.
Experts believe that TAPI is not only a regional project envisaging the transportation of Turkmen gas, but also a global one.
The implementation of the project will strengthen Turkmenistan's independence, and its gas supplies to world markets will increase significantly.
TAPI is an opportunity to pave the way for stability in Afghanistan and it could contribute to the rehabilitation process in the war-torn country.
It will also create more job opportunities and provide Afghanistan with a guaranteed income from the transit.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
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