Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced the Turkmen-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline Implementation Plan on Thursday, calling the project critical to the region’s growth.
“We have just signed today a plan to execute the TAPI project, called the TAPI Implementation Plan,” Sharif remarked as he addressed a signing ceremony for the project, standing alongside a Turkmen delegation.
“TAPI is a critical project for the prosperity of the entire region, beginning in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital, and continuing through Kabul, Islamabad, and India.”
“This will assist the region in securing natural gas with concrete assurances and mutually agreed terms and conditions,” added the Prime Minister.
The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAPI) is a natural gas pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh Gas Field through Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
According to the prime minister, “energy has become a real challenge” as a result of international conditions.
“As a developing country like Pakistan, we must navigate this challenge with creative policy and swift action.”
“TAPI will usher in a new era of regional cooperation and prosperity,” Sharif added, instructing government officials to expedite its development and implementation.
Shehbaz also expressed gratitude to the Turkmen team for coming to Pakistan and “giving us the opportunity to show the world that our two brotherly countries are ready to promote our relations and expand our economic cooperation.”
History of TAPI pipeline
This pipeline has been in the works for several years.
The project was proposed in the 1990s as a way to generate cash from Turkmenistan’s gas deposits by exporting natural gas to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan.
Turkmengaz (primary shareholder with 85% interest), Afghan Gas Enterprise (5%), Inter State Gas Systems (5%), and GAIL (5%) formed the TAPI Pipeline Company (TPCL) in November 2014 to carry out the project, with Turkmengaz leading the consortium.
In December 2015, a stone-laying ceremony was performed to commemorate the commencement of work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan segment of the gas pipeline.
The four countries inked an investment agreement for the development of the TAPI project in February 2016.
In February 2018, a ceremony marked the start of construction on the pipeline’s Afghanistan-Pakistan portion.
The pipeline will transport 33 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year.