Pakistani officials said that the construction of a $10 billion gas pipeline stretching from Central to South Asia; a project between Turkemanistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India is set to begin in December.
Baymurat Hojamuhamedov, Turkmenistan’s Deputy Prime Minister for Oil and Gas and Special Envoy of Turkmenistan’s president, called on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and invited Premier Sharif to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the project which will be started in December of this year.
“The ground breaking ceremony of the TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) gas pipeline project will be held in December this year,” a government statement said.
All four countries involved in the project have long planned the ambitious project to meet growing energy needs but administrative issues and unrest in Afghanistan have so far delayed its realisation.
The project is politically complex, requiring cooperation governments, and logistically challenging, as the pipeline would pass through areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan plagued by Taliban and separatist insurgents.
Pakistan, struggling to meet its ever-increasing energy demands, has already renewed efforts to finish its under-construction pipeline from Iran after the landmark deal on Iran’s nuclear programme because sanctions on the oil and gas rich country have jeopardised this project.
The TAPI gas pipeline will have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas for a 30-year period and will be operational in 2018.
India and Pakistan would get 38 mmscmd each, while the remaining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan.
The TAPI gas pipeline will carry gas from Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh field, better known by its previous name South Yoiotan Osman that holds gas reserves of 16 trillion cubic feet.
From the field, the pipeline will run to Herat and Kandahar province of Afghanistan, before entering Pakistan. In Pakistan, it will reach Multan via Quetta before ending at Fazilka (Punjab) in India.