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TAPI to Feed Natural Gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan & India

TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India), the long-awaited 1814-kilometers Gas pipeline project, was officially inaugurated by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in the country’s western Herat province with the launching of construction work on the Afghan section of a natural gas pipeline near the town of Serhetabat, Turkmenistan on February 23, 2018 in the presence of  Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and India Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar. This $22.5-billion TAPI project will stretch from resource-rich Turkmenistan and feed natural gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and seeks to promote regional integration and stability. Interestingly, Afghan Taliban, in a rare announcement, vowed to support and protect the pipeline in areas under its control, and claimed credit for the TAPI project, implying that it was initially planned during the Taliban regime in the late 1990s. Berdymukhamedov hopes that apart from the economic benefits, TAPI project will be an important step forward in the political dynamics of the region.

  • TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL) was incorporated in November 2014, in Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency.
  • Share Holders Agreement of TPCL was signed on the 13th of December 2015 with the shareholding percentage in the TPCL to be Turkmenistan 85%, India 5%, Pakistan 5% and Afghanistan 5%.
  • Ground breaking ceremony to start the work on the Turkmen leg of the TAPI pipeline was held at Mary, Turkmenistan on the 13th of December, 2015.
  • The technical study of the TAPI project has estimated an overall project duration of 6¾ years from the start of the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) process till handing over of the pipeline for commercial operation.
  • The Pipeline will enter India at Fazilka, Punjab. The gas available from the project is expected to boost development of industrial and commercial activities in Fazilka district, including start of CNG and City gas
  • TAPI project holds tremendous potential in terms of economic growth and stability for Afghanistan as the Afghans stand to gain about $500 million annually in transit fees; apart from jobs. The Afghan stretch of the pipeline is about 800 km.
  • The pipeline will transfer 33 billion cu. m of Turkmen natural gas annually for 30 years
  • Galkynysh, the world´s second-biggest gas field, will feed the TAPI

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said that the TAPI is the start of a new beginning for the region. “We hope that TAPI project will pave the way for hundreds of other projects and the hope is that our future generations will view this not only as the inauguration of a project and an economic corridor, but the foundation of a shared vision which will help us fight poverty, unemployment, extremism and insecurity in our region”. “The policy of cooperation will ensure prosperity for our people, and economic prosperity is an important pillar of security and stability”.

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