TAPI project still has many unresolved issues (exclusive)

TAPI project still has many unresolved issues (exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 17

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

There are still many issues to be resolved in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline construction project.

The construction of the Turkmen section of the TAPI gas pipeline began in December 2015 and according to the official statements, it will take three years to complete.

The Senior Advisor for Central and West Asia Department of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Chin Choon Fong told Trend that the construction of the Afghan and Pakistani sections of the gas pipeline will actually take two-three years, but the timing of its launch has not been determined yet.

ADB is a transactional advisor on TAPI project.

"The construction of the Afghan and Pakistani sections of the pipeline will begin after the completion of the detailed design, procurement and financial arrangement activities," Chin Choon Fong said.

He said that the total cost of the project will be determined after the completion of the detailed design, procurement and financial settlements.

"This is a large and complex project that will require a strong alliance of financiers," he said.

The consortium will engage financial institutions to arrange the necessary financing which is likely to be a mix of equity and debt financing provided and/or credit enhanced by multilateral, regional and bilateral development agencies, export credit agencies, and commercial financial institutions, he said.

The pipeline will cut across highly sensitive security areas, the ADB representative said, adding that ensuring security in transit countries is indeed a challenge in implementation of the TAPI project.

The shareholders of the TAPI Pipeline Company Limited Consortium are confident that the security risks can be suitably mitigated, Chin Choon Fong said.

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline will make it possible to deliver gas from Turkmenistan, which ranks fourth in the world on biggest gas reserves, to large and promising markets of South and Southeast Asia.

TAPI gas pipeline project will contribute to peace and stability in the region, the economic development of the countries involved in it, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov said at the solemn ceremony of laying the pipeline.

The annual capacity of the gas pipeline will be 33 billion cubic meters.

It is planned that the total length of the TAPI pipeline will be 1,814 kilometers. Some 214 kilometers will pass through the territory of Turkmenistan, 774 kilometers - Afghanistan, 826 kilometers - Pakistan up to Fazilka settlement on the border with India.

The pipeline is to run from Galkynysh - the largest gas field in Turkmenistan - the through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar, and finally reach the Fazilka township located near the India-Pakistan border. The estimated cost of the project will be up to $10 billion.

Turkmengaz State Concern, Afghan Gas Corporation, Pakistan's "Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited" and Indian "GAIL (India) Limited" established TAPI Ltd. consortium in November 2014. It will be engaged in construction and subsequent operation of the TAPI gas pipeline.

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