Work officially began on the Afghanistan section of the TAPI project in presence of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Turkmen President, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs and Pakistani Prime Minister in Herat province.
The first part of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project inauguration took place in Turkmenistan followed by a ceremony in Afghanistan Herat province.
Addressing the ceremony, President Ghani said the pipeline would “unite the countries” in quotes translated into Russian for reporters at the ceremony.
“There were pessimistic voices, but now we are witnessing the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline,” said Ghani.
The 1,814-kilometer gas pipeline is expected to transport 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas a year, will pass through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.
At least 816 kilometers of the pipeline will pass through the territory of Afghanistan through Herat, Farah, Nimroz, Helmand, and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan.
The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near its border with Pakistan.
In the meantime, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov called diversification of gas deliveries an “important part of the politics” of the isolated Central Asian country.
Berdymukhamedov noted that construction of the section of pipeline going through Turkmenistan is being carried out according to the general plan.
On the occasion, Pakistani Prime Minister, Shahid Abbasi expressed confidence that TAPI would provide shared prosperity, unite people and provide socio-economic development and peace dividends in the region.
He said TAPI is critical for Pakistan’s energy needs, adding that it will provide 10 percent of the country’s total energy consumption.
This comes as Taliban group in a statement announced support for the TAPI project and expressed readiness to guarantee the pipeline’s security.
“We are ready to protect TAPI. It is good and important and vital for the economy of Afghanistan,” Taliban’s spokesman said.