Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Sept.13
By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:
Turkmenistan discussed the aspects of practical implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline project (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) with the TAPI project member states, Turkmen media reported Sept.13.
The president of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held a series of meetings in Dushanbe (Tajikistan), where the meeting of the heads of states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) took place, and where he was invited as a honorable guest.
The "joining of efforts" in practical implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline project, designed to be "a bridge of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation in the region" was discussed during a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, according to the Turkmen TV channel Altyn Asir.
At the meeting of the Turkmen president with Sartaj Aziz, the advisor to the prime minister of Pakistan on National Security and Foreign Affairs, special attention was also paid to the TAPI gas pipeline project, which aims to make a significant contribution to the sustainable socio-economic development of the Asian region as a whole and contribute to strengthening of the global energy security, state news service Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary reported Sept.13.
"In this regard, it was stressed that Pakistan fully supports this ambitious project initiated by Turkmenistan, the importance and relevance of which is confirmed by time," the information reads.
Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper reported Sept. 13 that Berdimuhamedov met with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and paid "priority attention" to the TAPI project.
"The foreign minister of India noted the significant progress made in promotion of the TAPI project, and stressed in this regard the efforts of president of Turkmen president to accelerate the realization of this ambitious project," the article said. "He expressed support of the leadership of his country for the international initiatives of the Turkmen leader to form effective mechanism in order to ensure the safety of transit of energy resources to the world markets under the auspices of the United Nations."
It was stressed that "the leaders of India share the conviction of the Turkmen side on the fact the implementation of this unprecedented project can become an important factor in improvement of the overall situation in Central and South Asia".
Ashgabat has previously stressed that the construction of the TAPI should begin in 2015. A basic document for the TAPI promotion is Ashgabat's interstate agreement of the member-states on the beginning of the practical implementation of this project signed in 2010.
The TAPI design capacity is up to 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Sales and purchase agreements (SPA) were signed with Indian GAIL Ltd and the State Gas Systems of Pakistan in May 2012. Another SPA was signed with the Afghanistan's Gas Corporation in July 2013.
A service agreement was signed with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in November 2013.
TAPI gas pipeline's total length will be 1,735 kilometers. Some 200 kilometres of the pipeline will run through Turkmenistan, 735 kilometres - through Afghanistan, and 800 kilometres - through Pakistan up to the Fazilka settlement on the Indian border.
Galkynysh - the largest field in Turkmenistan - can serve as a raw material source for TAPI. At this stage the formation of an international consortium for TAPI project is underway.