Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 11
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project certainly represents a very positive development for infrastructure integration across South and Central Asia, as it would strengthen the energy security of both supplying (Turkmenistan) and purchasing states (India, Pakistan), Luca Anceschi, an expert of the British University of Glasgow with a focus on Central Asia, told Azernews.
“The pipeline’s importance for the region is also related to a potential stabilization of Afghanistan and its economy, which may greatly benefit from the transit fees associated with TAPI development,” he said.
However, despite its regional importance, the project remains unfeasible due to financial constraints more than to security concerns related to its Afghan sectors, according to the expert.
Anceschi believes that this pipeline project is not likely to be implemented unless Turkmenistan opens up consortium membership to foreign companies granting in turn upstream stakes on onshore gas fields.
Turkmenistan started to construct its TAPI section in December 2015. The foundation laying ceremony for the Afghan section of the TAPI gas pipeline is planned to be held in the second half of February 2018.
Earlier, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Japanese government expressed their interest in financing TAPI.
The Islamic Development Bank has already allocated a loan worth $700 million for Turkmenistan to construct its TAPI section.