TAPI gas pipeline project launched

Michele Moreno
February 25, 2018

He assured the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and India, Pakistan's full cooperation in making TAPI a success.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will attend inauguration ceremonies of TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) Pipeline and associated projects today (Friday) in Mary, Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan holds the world's fourth largest natural gas reserves, but in recent years has been strongly dependent on gas exports to China after Russian Federation reduced their gas imports.

Berdymukhamedov was in the western Afghan city of Herat together with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India's Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Ghani said the pipeline would "unite [the] countries". He said the Afghanistan government's policy is a policy of "connectivity" and South Asia is being connected with Central Asia through Afghanistan, TOLO News reported. The successful accomplishment of the project would help accelerate pace of socio-economic activities in the participating countries besides creating direct and indirect employment opportunities.

His remark came after Afghanistan on Friday broke ground on a 1,127-mile "peace pipeline", a $22.5 billion natural gas pipeline crossing the country's war-ravaged south. But a spokesman for the insurgent group, Zabihullah Mujahid, says it supports the project and will ensure the pipeline's protection. "We are ready to protect TAPI".

The ambitious natural gas pipeline project entered its practical phase in Pakistan after the process of initiating front-end-engineering-and-design (FEED) route survey was formally inaugurated a year ago. Major portion of the pipeline would pass through southwest Afghanistan which is major bastion of Taliban.

TAPI has been supported by the USA and the Asian Development Bank and been promoted by Turkmenistan since the 1990s but has been shrouded in delays because of the problems crossing Afghanistan.

"We see Pakistan as the hub of connectivity in the region", the Prime Minister said, adding that CPEC was the most visible part of the Belt and Road Initiative and stressed on enhancement in bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The Prime Minister also congratulated the ADB for its role in making the project a reality.

Other reports by Insurance News

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