President: Turkmenistan must work hard to ensure TAPI project implementation
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Dec. 11 / Trend H. Hasanov /
We have to work hard to create favourable conditions for the implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow said at a government meeting, the country's television reported on Tuesday.
The Turkmen leader said global economic and financial circles understand the reality and reasonability of TAPI and the project is supported at a political level.
"These factors which include tools of energy diplomacy need to be used," Berdimuhamedow said, adding that the interdepartmental working group on energy diplomacy has been tasked to speed up the work.
TAPI is currently at an important stage of development.
In the autumn, Turkmenistan held a series of international road shows on the TAPI project with the participation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). According to reports from Ashgabat, the heads of U.S. companies such as Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, BG Group, Germany's RWE and Malaysia's Petronas expressed their intention to participate in the project.
According to its feasibility, the 1735 km long TAPI pipeline will start from the eastern region of Turkmenistan, where the largest gas fields are situated and after passing through the territory of Afghanistan and Pakistan will reach Fazilka (India) on the Pakistani-Indian border.
The capacity of the pipeline is 33 billion cubic meters of gas a year. At this stage negotiations are being held on the formation of the consortium, financing and security and in particular through troubled Afghanistan.
Observers believe that the implementation of TAPI can contribute to the restoration process in Afghanistan, as it will create jobs and provide the country with a guaranteed income from transit.
Holding the status of positive neutrality, Turkmenistan has a long border with Afghanistan and recently proposed inter-Afghan peace talks under the auspices of the UN in Ashgabat.
Ashgabat provides humanitarian assistance to the neighbouring country by building social infrastructure facilities and supplies of electricity and fuel to Afghanistan are carried out on favourable terms.
Turkmenistan undertook a major project, the implementation of which will increase electricity exports to Afghanistan by five times. Export capacity in this area reaches about 325 million kilowatt-hours per year.