DURING the last two decades the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project has been ‘inaugurated’ many times by our military and political leaders.
This mega project will supply natural gas from Turkmenistan’s giant Galkynysh gasfield, using a 1,840km gas pipeline at a cost of $8 billion. It will be completed in two years. This project will be executed by American companies.
It will supply gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It is not known what will be the price of gas the users will be paying and what will be rent charges India will be paying to Afghanistan and Pakistan for the land used.
Pakistan needs energy to improve its economy and electricity generation. But the question is: at what cost the gas is being purchased by Turkmenistan compared to Iran’s? Pakistan has also signed an LNG contract for 15 years with Qatar, which was allegedly done for personal interests by PML-N leaders and the gas rate was accepted at higher rate.
Why was the Iran gas project not preferred by the PML-N government which was to be completed by investing $500 million to lay the pipes on our part of Balochistan?
Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2018