ISLAMABAD: The shareholders of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL) signed an investment agreement in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) which would help address the energy shortages in the country.
According to a statement issued by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) here, the ceremony was witnessed by petroleum ministers and senior government officials of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and senior Asian Development Bank (ADB) officials.
The statement said the agreement would pave the way for the delivery of long-term natural gas supplies to Pakistan, helping it address energy shortages.
The Investment Agreement provides an initial budget of over $200 million to fund the next phase of the TAPI natural gas pipeline.
This includes funding detailed engineering and route surveys, environmental and social safeguard studies, and procurement and financing activities, to enable a final investment decision, after which construction can begin.
The construction is estimated to take up to 3 years. “TAPI will help bring in 13.8 bln cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan to meet Pakistan’s growing energy demand,” Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal Khan said.
“It will boost the country’s energy security, bring economic benefits to our people through job opportunities, and upgrade the associated infrastructure.”
The TPCL would build, own and operate the TAPI pipeline, which once completed, would transport up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from Turkmenistan to the 3 other countries for the next 30 years.
The pipeline stretches about 1,600 kilometers from the Afghan/Turkmen border to the Pakistan/Indian border. “TAPI exemplifies ADB’s key role in promoting regional cooperation and integration over the past 20 years.
It will unlock economic opportunities, transform infrastructure, and diversify the energy market for Turkmenistan and enhance energy security for the region,” Director General of ADB’s Central and West Asia Department Sean O’Sullivan said.
Acting as TAPI secretariat since 2003 and as transaction advisor since 2013, ADB has been instrumental in the progress of the TAPI pipeline to date.In the latter role, ADB helped establish TPCL, select Turkmengaz as consortium leader, and finalize the Shareholders and Investment Agreements. APP