Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Jan. 31
By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:
The parties interested in the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline came close to creating a consortium, Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary (TDH) state news agency said in an analytical material.
"Currently the sides have come close to creating TAPI Ltd. consortium, which will deal with the practical implementation of the project," the information said.
Presently legal and technical issues on its creation are being studied, as well as engaging leading foreign companies that have necessary technical capabilities, advanced technology and practical experience in the construction of pipelines.
As TDH stressed, all the necessary legal and commercial documents on TAPI project are ready. The contracts on purchase and sale of natural gas were signed between entities of participating countries.
"The Asian Development Bank (ADB) serves as a transactional advisor on TAPI gas pipeline project. Its main task is to develop the project company TAPI Ltd., as well as to search for the leader of the consortium to implement one of the largest energy projects in the vast Asian space," TDH said.
The basic document is an Ashgabat interstate agreement of the member states signed in 2010 in Ashgabat on starting the practical implementation of the TAPI project. The instability for transit through Afghanistan remains a serious obstacle. However, Kabul says it will be able to ensure the route's safety.
TAPI is at an important stage of its development. In May 2012, the Turkmen government signed an agreement for the sale and purchase of natural gas with India's GAIL Ltd. and State Gas Systems of Pakistan. A corresponding agreement was signed with Afghanistan in July, 2013. A Service Agreement was signed with the transactional adviser - the Asian Development Bank (ADB) - in Ashgabat in November 2013.
Earlier, Turkmen press said that the heads of the companies such as Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, BG Group, RWE, Petronas read the project's terms and "expressed their intention to participate in it". According to Indian sources, Shell company also showed interest. South Korean Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas) has declared its proposals for TAPI.
The TAPI pipe length can reach 1735 kilometres. It is expected that the main line must stretch from the largest gas field in Turkmenistan, Galkynysh, through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar and reach its final destination at the settlement of Fazilka, located on the border between India and Pakistan.
Translated by M.L.