Turkmenistan, Pakistan to negotiate TAPI gas pipeline project
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Oct. 14
By Huseyn Hasanov– Trend:
High officials of Pakistan and Turkmenistan are set to meet for this week (Oct. 14-20) to hold negotiations for removing all impediments and setting a timeline to begin construction work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project, Trend reports referring to the Pakistani newspaper “The Express Tribune”.
The two countries have already signed terms of the Host Government Agreement (HGA) and now they will engage in discussions on the HGA next week.
Pakistan signed the HGA with Turkmenistan in March 2019 and will lay gas pipeline on its section from Chaman to Multan cities via Quetta and Dera Ismail Khan cities.
A full version of the HGA is being developed and the agreed draft will be put on the table before the cabinet of ministers for formal approval. HGA will authorize TAPI Pipeline Company Limited to implement and operate Pakistan’s segment of the pipeline project over the next 25 years.
In this regard, Pakistan will give certain concessions and permission to TAPI Company including travel concessions covering visas and permits, opening a branch office in Pakistan, investment protection and facilitation, according to the report.
Moreover, the Pakistani government is ready to facilitate the implementation of the project through the provision of land and by allowing remittance of foreign currency.
“Critical discussions will be held whereas Pakistan has already given assurances that it will press ahead with the project,” said Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) Managing Director Mobin Saulat.
It was reported that the cost of Turkmen pipeline gas, which will be supplied to Pakistan, will be significantly lower compared to the price of liquefied natural gas imported from other countries.
The Turkmengas State Concern is the leader of the TAPI Pipeline Company Ltd. international consortium. It has a controlling stake and acts as the main financier and manager of the project. The consortium also includes the Afghan Gas Corporation, Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited Company and India’s GAIL Company.
The operations on laying the Turkmen section of the TAPI gas pipeline are planned to be completed till late 2019, the construction of which was launched in December 2015. The construction of the Afghan section was launched in February 2018.
The pipeline’s design capacity will be 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year.