Afghanistan: Kabul expo to engage private companies in TAPI gas pipeline project

KABUL (TCA) — The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project’s exhibition committee on October 15 launched a three-day exhibition in Kabul to encourage the private sector to engage in the TAPI project, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

The TAPI exhibition committee has the authority to hold TAPI related exhibitions in the member countries. This exhibition was the first so far and 20 companies attended.

Head of the committee Ahmad Sameer Mateen said at the opening ceremony that the exhibition aims to introduce private companies to TAPI officials and to pave the ground for the private sector to get involved in the project.

TAPI project director in Afghanistan Abdul Rahman Mujahid said 95 percent of the preliminary work in Afghanistan for TAPI has been completed and that practical work on the project will start soon.

“The practical work possibly will start by the end of this year or at the beginning of the new year,” said Mujahid.

“Our companies have good engineers and technical Afghan staff. They have good facilities and ability and they should be given the chance to take part in this national project and implement it in a good manner,” Musharaf Musharaf, head of a private construction company said.

“Transit and transportation is a big part of the TAPI project that includes transportation of pipelines, construction materials and logistical materials. Transportation and transit companies can play a good role in this regard,” Lotfullah Amini, head of a private transit company said.

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) in the meantime raised concerns over the delay in the implementation of the TAPI project and urged the government to encourage Afghan companies to take on parts of the TAPI project.

“Lots of time has passed and it is really concerning. All the construction, services and transit companies are waiting for the start of the project. Domestic capacities should be used in all facilities, services and domestic investments in the project as it has been mentioned in the contract,” ACCI first deputy head Khan Jan Alokozay said.

TAPI exhibition will be open for three days in Kabul. The exhibition committee will hold exhibitions in India, Pakistan and Turkmenistan in the near future and a number of Afghan companies will attend.

TAPI project was inaugurated by leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in January 2016.

The 1,814-kilometer gas pipeline from Turkmenistan will pass through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. At least 816 kilometers of the pipeline will cross Afghanistan.

The pipeline will run through Herat, Farah, Nimroz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces and will be built alongside the Kandahar–Herat Highway in western Afghanistan. From it will go to Quetta and Multan in Pakistan.

The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near its border with Pakistan.

The project will cost $22.5 billion.

The project is implemented by the TAPI Limited Company – a group of firms from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan including Afghan Gas Enterprise, Turkmen Gas State Company, and two private companies from Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is expected to earn more than US$400 million in transit duties annually from the project.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

View more articles fromTCA