ISLAMABAD: The construction of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) pipeline will begin in the first quarter of 2019 and the project will be completed in two and a half years. Moreover, Afghanistan and Pakistan have given sovereign guarantees to ensure the pipeline’s security.
This was stated by speakers during a public talk titled “Implementation of Tapi pipeline” organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) here on Thursday.
The chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Tapi Pipeline Company Ltd, Turkmenistan, Muhammetmyrat Amanov, said that the survey for the project, through which total 33 billion cubic metre gas per annum would be provided by the 1,814-kilometre-long pipeline, had been completed.
He said construction work would start in the first quarter of next year. Pipeline would be laid till Pakistan in two years and it would take between six and eight months to lay the pipeline from Pakistan to India, he said, adding that the project would create as many as 10,000 jobs.
He said the price of gas provided through this pipeline would significantly be lower as compared to the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
He said that the project, for which the Asian Development Bank and Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and the Export Credit (ICIEC) had confirmed $500 million and $300m, respectively, would boost industrialisation in the region.
Replying to questions, Mr Amanov said that his company had experience of working in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so hopefully there would not be any security issue. Moreover, there was commitment from Afghanistan that it would provide foolproof security to the project.
“From political point of view I believe that all countries, including the United States and China, are supportive of this project. Moreover, Russian, Japanese and American machinery and support is being used in the project,” he said.
The Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, asked two questions, one was about the price of gas and other was that who would bear the loss in case the pipeline was damaged by blasts and attacks.
Mr Amanov said that it was not possible for him to tell the price of gas.
Replying to other question, he said there would not be any security issue in Pakistan, adding that Afghanistan had also given assurance to provide security to the pipeline.
ISSI Director General and Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said that both the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan had given sovereign guarantees regarding the security of the pipeline.
Earlier, Mr Chaudhry said that though the world had been moving towards renewable energy resources, the efficacy of fossil fuel could not be ignored.
“All stakeholders are on board regarding the project. In the survey, which was completed in one year, as many as 1,600 people participated and not a single human casualty was reported,” he said.
ISSI Chairman Khalid Mehmood said that a number of financial institutions were involved and resources were being mobilised for timely completion of the project.
Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2018