TAPI gas pipeline makes headway

Participating countries have already agreed on a transit fee of 49.5 cents per Million British Thermal Unit (MMBtu)

Zafar Bhutta March 13, 2019
Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkmenistan inked the finalised version of the Host Government Agreement to facilitate the execution of $10 billion Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline network.

The total cost of the project has been estimated at $25 billion. Turkmenistan will spend 85 per cent of total cost of the project including investing $15 billion to develop gas fields and $10 billion to build gas pipeline whereas participating countries would contribute 5 per cent each.

Under the agreement signed here on Tuesday, Pakistan would facilitate the TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL) to lay gas pipeline in its territory against which it would receive a transit fee, Managing Director Interstate Gas Systems (ISGS) Mobin Saulat told The Express Tribune adding cost of gas under TAPI pipeline is still 20 per cent cheaper compared to imported LNG.

The participating countries have already agreed on a transit fee of 49.5 cents per Million British Thermal Unit (MMBtu).

The agreement was signed by the Federal Secretary Petroleum, Mian Asad Hayauddin from the Pakistani side and CEO of TPCL Amanov.  Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov were also present on the occasion.

The petroleum minister welcomed the signing of the HGA as an important event in the history of the TAPI project. He reiterated the government's commitment towards the early and successful implementation of the project and remained hopeful the ground breaking of the project can be held in Pakistan this year.

Energy Woes: TAPI gas pipeline project discussed

Meanwhile, the Turkmen foreign minister informed of his government’s initiatives to ensure timelines of the project are met.  He appreciated the fact HGA has been signed through mutual agreement and consensus and welcomed Pakistan’s continued commitment and active interest in the TAPI gas project.

Meredov also discussed with the Pakistani delegation his government’s plan for a transport and energy corridor between Pakistan and Turkmenistan via Afghanistan and to lay an optic fiber network parallel to the route of the pipeline and see its possible extension till China.

Similarly, the petroleum minister praised the current state of friendly bilateral relations between both the countries and expressed his satisfaction on the relations being expanded into fields such as technology.

“Pakistan is our brotherly country which holds a significant place in Turkmenistan’s global outlook,” said the Turkmen FM.

The TAPI gas pipeline project aims to bring natural gas from the Gylkynish and adjacent gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The ADB is acting as the facilitator and coordinator for the project. It is proposed to lay a 56-inch diameter 1,680 KM pipeline with a design capacity of 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per annum (Bcfd) from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India border.

There are two phases of this project. The first phase is free to flow phase with an estimated cost of $5 billion to 6 US$ billion whereas the second phase is the installation of compressor stations with the cost of $1.9 to $2 billion.

Civil works of the project have already commenced in Afghanistan after the project’s groundbreaking (Afghan section) was held last year.



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