Ukrainian president confident in further strengthening of relations with Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, March 24 / Trend, H. Hasanov /
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych is confident in the further strengthening of relations with Turkmenistan. Yanukovych said in his congratulatory message addressed to the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov on the occasion of Novruz holiday.
"I sincerely believe that our agreements reached during your state visit to Ukraine will become a solid basis for further strengthening of the Ukrainian-Turkmen relations in many spheres of mutually beneficial cooperation," the letter says.
Berdimuhammadov paid a state visit to Ukraine in mid-March, during which a package of intergovernmental agreements was signed.
According to the Ukrainian presidential press service, during the enlarged negotiations, Yanukovych stated about Ukraine's interest in cooperation with Turkmenistan for the development of fuel-energy complex, including in the development of extraction and transportation of Turkmen gas.
Kiev considers it important to participate in the construction of the "East-West" gas pipeline on the territory of Turkmenistan, TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline, as well as in the construction of the second branch of Malay-Bagtyyarlyk pipeline (part of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline).
State concerns Turkmengaz and Turkmenneftegazstroy have been charged to construct the internal pipeline "East-West" with capacity of 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year. At the same time, contract work is assigned to foreign companies. The implementation of the project will close in a single ring all the major gas fields in the country and bring their resources to the Caspian Sea. The next step would be laying Trans-Caspian pipeline to Azerbaijan for the supply to Europe, another option could be a project of the Caspian gas pipeline to Russia.
"East-West" is scheduled to be commissioned by mid 2015. Approximate cost of construction of the pipeline is more than $2 billion.
The base document for the promotion of TAPI project is Ashgabat interstate agreement of the States Parties on start of the practical implementation of the TAPI project signed at the end of 2010.
At this stage, a principle of forming an international consortium is under discussion, and the project financing issue is being resolved. The agenda include payment for transit and security of this project. Gas purchase agreement is scheduled to be signed soon.
The design capacity of the pipeline is up to 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Buyers are gas companies of Pakistan and India. The project is promoted by the Asian Development Bank. Resource base, in addition to Dovletabad field, is the largest field in Turkmenistan, namely "Southern Yoloten - Osman" ("Galkynysh"). The length of the pipeline may reach 1735 kilometers. Russia has shown interest in this project at high level, the U.S. and Turkey support its implementation.
In addition, Turkmenistan has been working to increase the supply of gas to China via a pipeline which was commissioned in 2009. To this end, communication from primary sources are brought up to the main pipeline.