Work on the long-awaited 1,680 km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline will begin in Pakistan this month, a senior Pakistani official has said.
Leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India performed the ground-breaking of the project in December 2015. The project would help ease energy deficiency in South Asia.
The Express Tribune newspaper reported that the Tapi Company, having the mandate to run the pipeline, has awarded the project management consultant (PMC) contract to German firm ILF.
Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Systems Managing Director Mobin Saulat told the daily that the consultant was ready to conduct route survey, detailed engineering and feasibility study this month.
“A team from Turkmenistan will reach Islamabad on February 14 to begin work on the route survey, engineering and feasibility study to implement the TAPI pipeline project,” he said.
The team will first start work in Pakistan and then it will proceed to Afghanistan.
“Pipeline construction and gas-field development has started in Turkmenistan and we appreciate efforts of Turkmenistan authorities to expedite the project,” said Saulat.
He said Pakistan had reiterated its firm commitment and continued to provide full support for the TAPI pipeline.
Efforts to achieve financial closure were going on and the project would be commissioned as per schedule, he said.
Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have already signed a $10-billion investment agreement for the TAPI pipeline in a bid to kick off activities, update feasibility study and finalise pipeline route in Afghanistan.
According to the agreement, Turkmenistan will invest around $25 billion to deliver 3.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day (bcfd) to energy-hungry Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Of the total, $15 billion will be invested in developing the gas field whereas $10 billion will be poured into laying the pipeline over 1,680 km connecting Afghanistan, Pakistan and India with Turkmenistan.
Officials said a consortium of Japanese companies was working on a fast-track basis to develop the gas field in Turkmenistan.
A gas sale and purchase agreement had already been inked in 2013 to set the pricing mechanism under which the gas price at Turkmenistan border would be around 20 per cent cheaper than the price of Brent crude.
Pakistan and India will receive 1.325 bcfd of gas each while Afghanistan would get 500 mmcfd.