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Pakistan can address energy crisis through Tapi: Ambassador Movlamov

October 11, 2012

Engineers turn the valve of a gas pipeline forwarding natural gas from underground storage facilities at a gas receiving station. — Photo by AP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan can resolve its energy crisis by expediting work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) Gas Pipeline Project, Turkmenistan’s ambassador to Pakistan Atadjan Movlamov said Thursday.

He said that Turkmenistan was extending its railways and power network to Afghanistan which could offer new opportunities to Pakistan to boost its transit trade business and cope with power shortfall.

Movlamov was talking to a delegation of the business community, members of which included, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Haji Ghulam Kadir Sherani, Vice President SAARC Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President FPCCI Haroon Rashid, Chairman Media FPCCI Malik Sohail, Hina Mansab and others.

First Secretary Turkmenistan Embassy Charyyev Hydyr and Head of Chancery Sarwar Kayani were also present on the occasion.

Movlamov said concerns about security challenges to the Tapi gas pipeline were baseless as the Afghan government would get some eight per cent of the revenue while all stakeholders there favoured the mega project.

He informed that Turkmenistan was holding more road shows on the 1,420 millimetres diameter Tapi after already holding three in London, New York and Singapore with the help of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to attract investors.

The ambassador invited the FPCCI to participate in a grand business forum being held in Asghabat in November to explore opportunities.

Movlamov said Pakistan and Turkmenistan would soon hold three separate meetings of working groups on energy, agriculture and trade.

On the occasion, Sherani said the energy crisis had crippled the country’s economy but projects to import gas were still incomplete.

China has built a 7,500-kilometre-long pipeline in 18 months to get gas from Turkmenistan but Pakistan remained unable to get gas for decades which would need only a 1,735-kilometre-long pipeline, he lamented.

Malik stressed the need of benefitting from the resources of the country having the world's fourth largest reserves of natural gas.

Moreover, Rashid said participation of the Indian State Bank in the recent Tapi road show in Singapore was encouraging and a significant step forward to enable the import of up to 33 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. Sohail demanded of the government to ensure the import of natural gas without wasting time, adding that, Pakistan could also import petroleum products, including LPG, from Turkmenistan.