Interest of new investors to TAPI project not to affect its implementation timing

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 20 /Trend V.Zhavoronkova, A.Badalova /

The interest of new investors to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will not affect the timing of its implementation, a Russian expert on Central Asia, a member of Trend's Expert Council Stanislav Pritchin said.

"It is unlikely that the interest of new investors at this stage means that the project will be implemented in the short and medium term," the expert told Trend on Tuesday.

South Korean Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas) has revealed its proposals regarding TAPI gas pipeline project.

Korean experts highlighted the potential to expand their presence in the Turkmen market. This interest is understandable, as companies from South Korea are already involved on the service conditions in the development of the largest field in Turkmenistan, which is regarded as a raw material source for TAPI.

Previously Seoul declared its readiness to offer Turkmenistan know-how, in particular on this project.

Bangladesh has also expressed its interest to participation in this project.

According to the expert, despite the fact that the project is popular among potential investors, it's difficult to talk on certainty of its early implementation at this stage.

In Pritchin's words, a major reason for this is the situation in Afghanistan.

"Obviously, the situation in Afghanistan is not stable, especially in anticipation of the anti-terrorism coalition's withdrawal from there, no one dares to predict how the situation in the country will develop after 2014," the expert said.

In his opinion, due to this reason it is very difficult to say that the possible entry of new players and investors and their interest in this project will promote its implementation, especially given the fact that this is a multi-billion dollar infrastructure, energy project.

"It is difficult to claim that a multi-billion dollar project can be realized in unstable conditions," Pritchin said.

In autumn, Turkmenistan held a series of international road shows on this project with the participation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The length of the pipeline may be 1735 kilometers. Under the project, the gas pipeline should stretch from the Turkmen fields to the village of Fazilka in India on the border of Pakistan.

The pipeline's designed capacity is 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year. At this stage the principle of forming an international consortium is under discussion and the project financing issue is being resolved

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