Central Asian gas pipeline receives $200m boost

The 1,600km gas pipeline will be developed by a consortium of four state gas companies from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The four state gas companies of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, have signed an investment agreement to kick-start the next phase of the planned 1,600km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) national gas pipeline project. 

The consortium comprises Turkmengas from Turkmenistan, Afghan Gas Enterprise from Afghanistan, Inter State Gas Systems from Pakistan and GAIL from India. 

The agreement provides an initial budget of over $200 million to fund the next phase of the project's development. The work includes detailed engineering and route surveys, environmental and social safeguard studies and procurement and financing activities. 

Construction is estimated to take up to three years. 

TAPI Pipeline Company, the project company, will build, own and operate the TAPI pipeline. The latter, once completed, will transport up to 33 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually from Turkmenistan to the other three countries over 30 years. 

Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) was appointed the transaction advisor for the TAPI gas pipeline project in 2013. It helped establish the project company, select Turkmengaz as consortium leader, and finalise the shareholders and investment agreements.

“TAPI exemplifies ADB’s key role in promoting regional cooperation and integration over the past 20 years,” said Sean O’Sullivan, ADB’s director general for the Central and West Asia department. “TAPI will unlock economic opportunities, transform infrastructure, diversify the energy market for Turkmenistan and enhance energy security for the region.”