ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Jan. 28
By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:
The work that began in February 2018 on the Afghan section of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline has faced another delay in its construction inside Afghanistan over a postponement in land acquisition, Trend reports referring to the Afghan TOLONews agency.
According to the Afghan Environmental and Natural Resources Monitoring Network, construction on the project will be delayed for another six months.
Critics said more government focus is required on projects like TAPI and should be prioritized, because they will have a major impact on the country’s economy.
Afghanistan will annually get 500 million cubic meters of gas from the project in the first ten years. The amount will increase to one billion cubic meters of gas in the following ten years and 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas in the third 10 years after the completion of the project.
Afghanistan’s key role in this project is transit; the annual revenue can bring about $1 billion to the country. At the same time, the instability of this country remains a serious obstacle for the project. However, Kabul says it will be able to ensure the safety of the route.
The length of the Turkmen section of the TAPI pipeline, the construction of which was launched in December 2015, will be 205 kilometers (the main operations are carried out on the 120th kilometer). The pipeline will pass through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar (816 kilometers), through the cities of Quetta and Multan across Pakistani territory (819 kilometers), and reach the city of Fazilka in India.
The construction of the Afghan section of the pipeline was initiated in February 2018, while the construction of the Pakistani section was planned to be launched by late 2019.
The pipeline’s design capacity will be 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year, and the project’s cost is estimated at about $8 billion.
The Turkmengas State Concern is the leader of the TAPI Pipeline Company Ltd. international consortium. It makes decisions regarding the investors and acts as the main financier and manager of the project. The consortium also includes Afghan Gas Corporation, Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited Company and India’s GAIL Company.
The project is being promoted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which acts as a project transaction advisor. TAPI's resource base will be Galkynysh, the second biggest field in the world (after South Pars in Iran).
The estimated cost of the TAPI project is about $7-8 billion.