By Nigar Abbasova
Turkmenistan has allocated the first tranche for the implementation of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
President Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov has signed a decree on the allocation of funds in the amount of $45 million for the financing of construction of TAPI, which is also known as Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline.
The document was adopted in accordance with the investment treaty signed between the “Turkmengas” state concern, Gail Limited (India), Interstate gas systems Limited (Pakistan), Afghan Gas Enterprise, TAPI Pipeline Company Limited and Galkynysh Pipeline Company.
TAPI will make it possible to deliver gas from Turkmenistan, which ranks fourth in the world on biggest gas reserves, to large and promising markets of South and Southeast Asia.
Furthermore, the Turkmen side reported that the Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Fund for development as well as the Japanese governments have expressed interest and intention to participate in the financing of the project.
The government currently considers three main participation directions of potential foreign investors which include trade, financing and investment. The trade direction envisages provision of the tubular as well as gas facilities while the direction of financing stipulates the allocation of credit proceeds. The investment direction is considered for the perspective of investor’s participation in the development of “Galkynish”, which is considered to be the world's second-largest gas field, as well as participation in the TAPI consortium.
The implementation of the TAPI project with the expected total length of 1,735 kilometers began in December 2015. Some 214 kilometers will pass through the territory of Turkmenistan, 735 kilometers – Afghanistan, 800 kilometers – Pakistan up to Fazilka settlement on the border with India.
The pipeline that begins from a gas field Galkynysh in Turkmenistan will pass through the Afghan cities Herat and Kandahar, Pakistani cities Quetta and Multan and will reach the settlement of Fazilk on border of India and Pakistan.
The pipeline is expected to transport 33 bcm of gas annually. The completion of the construction process and putting all TAPI pipeline into operation is scheduled for late 2019.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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