Turkmenistan starts the construction work of TAPI gas pipeline project

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Turkmenistan has started the construction work of of 1800-kilometre-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) also  known as Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline. The ground breaking ceremony of the project was held at the ancient city of Mary of Turkmenistan. The pipeline is expected to be operational by 2019. It will have a capacity of 33 billion cubic metres.

The function was attended by Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif and Indian Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari.

The pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India. It is believed that Turkmenistan have the world’s fourth-largest gas reserves and presently exporting it mainly to China and Russia.

Financial hurdles before TAPI project :

Although TAPI gas pipeline project is backed by hydrocarbon resources but the project faces several risks, such as the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and lack of clarity about its financing.

TAPI’s construction is led by state gas firm Turkmengas and none of global energy majors have so far committed to the project that will cost as much as a third of Turkmenistan’s total 2016 budget. Dubai-based Dragon Oil is tyhe only comapny that is in talks on TAPI currently. It  produces oil off Turkmenistan’s Caspian coast.

All that you need to know about TAPI project :

TAPI gas pipeline project, is a natural gas pipeline being developed by the Asian Development Bank. The pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India

  1. Countries covered : 1800-kilometre-long pipeline project will cover Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
  2. Length and capacity of the pipeline: It has total length of  1,814-kilometre (1,127 mi). It start from the Galkynysh gas field ( Mary Province of Turkmenistan) and the final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India. It has capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day.
  3. Total Project Cost : TAPI is a 10 billion US dollars project and is being funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  4. Route of the Pipeline : The Pipeline start from the Galkynysh gas field (Turkmenistan) and passes through  Kandahar–Herat Highway in western Afghanistan, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan. The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India
  5. Security : The security consultants have recommended the establishment of an inter-government joint security task force (JSTF) as the core solution of it's security concerns.

Significance of  TAPI project :

TAPI pipeline signals a new phase in regional cooperation as it will serve as a lifeline for  energy-hungry India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Once ready, the TAPI pipeline can carry up to 90 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas from the former Soviet republic; both India and Pakistan would share 38 mmscmd, while Afghanistan would get the rest for the next 30 years. Thus , the pipeline will offer a win-win situation for every stakeholder in the region.

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