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Construction of TAPI pipeline can start in December

Monday, November 2
It is planned to start the construction of one of the largest gas pipelines in the continent on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) route in December 2015.

Turkmenistanís Turkmengaz state concern, the leader of the consortium and main investor of the project, intends to start to construct its part of the gas pipeline with its own efforts.

It is planned that the length of TAPI will be 1,800 kilometers, including 200 kilometers running through the territory of Turkmenistan, 773 kilometers - Afghanistan, 827 kilometers - through the territory of Pakistan (to the Fazilka settlement on the border with India).

The design capacity of TAPI is up to 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The estimated cost of the project is around $10 billion.

Recently, Turkmenistanís government reviewed the budget of construction of the pipelineís Turkmen section. In accordance with this budget, Turkmengaz will be the main investor of TAPI project.

Afghanistanís gas corporation, Pakistanís Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited and Indiaís GAIL, which are part of the consortium, will also finance the project in accordance with their approved share.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will also take part in this project.

Manila hosted talks with ADB management on financing the project for constructing the TAPI gas pipeline in early October. During the meeting, ADB management praised Turkmenistanís economic development and assured that ADB will actively participate in the implementation of TAPI project in the future as well.

ADB will not only finance the project, but also render comprehensive assistance in attracting loans and take part in coordinating the work on attracting other interested financing sides and investors.

Turkmen gas will help to cover the growing energy consumption in India and Pakistan, where the demand for energy can double by 2030. The remaining part will reduce the constant shortage of energy in transit Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, the tense situation in Afghanistan can hinder this project, according to some observers. In this regard, Ashgabat has repeatedly expressed readiness to host talks under the auspices of UN on restoring peace in Afghanistan.

Turkmenistan believes that alongside the purely economic tasks, the pipelineís construction will allow the resolution of a number of important social and humanitarian issues, including those related to creating additional jobs, improving the transport, communications and social infrastructures along the entire gas pipeline and strengthen the political and social stability in the whole region.

The basic document for TAPI is the Ashgabat intergovernmental agreement signed in 2010 between the participating states on starting the practical implementation of this project.