ISLAMABAD: Shareholders of Tapi Pipeline Company Limited have signed an investment agreement that will pave the way for delivery of long-term natural gas supplies, helping address energy shortages.
The accord was inked at a ceremony in Ashgabat where petroleum ministers, senior government officials of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and senior executives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) were present.
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The investment agreement provides an initial budget of over $200 million to fund the next phase of the Tapi natural gas pipeline.
It includes funding detailed engineering and route surveys, environmental and social safeguard studies, and procurement and financing activities, which will lead to a final investment decision. After this, construction can begin that is estimated to take three years.
“Tapi will help bring 13.8 billion cubic metres of gas from Turkmenistan to meet Pakistan’s growing energy demand,” said Jam Kamal Khan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources.
“It will boost the country’s energy security, bring economic benefits to our people through job opportunities and provide and upgrade associated infrastructure,” he added.
Tapi Pipeline Company will build, own and operate the gas pipeline, which once completed, will transport up to 33 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India for the next 30 years.
The pipeline stretches about 1,600 kilometres from the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan border to the Pakistan-India border.
‘TAPI pipeline to be completed by 2019’
ADB Director General of Central and West Asia Department Sean O’Sullivan said, “Tapi exemplifies ADB’s key role in promoting regional cooperation and integration over the past 20 years. It will unlock economic opportunities, transform infrastructure and diversify the energy market for Turkmenistan and enhance energy security for the region.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2016.
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