China reportedly interested in joining TAPI gas pipeline project

BISHKEK (TCA) — China has expressed an interest in joining the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, by building a link from Pakistan to China, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported citing the Pakistani media.

The TAPI gas pipeline project presently involves four countries — Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India — and is expected to address energy deficiencies of Pakistan and India by delivering 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from gas-rich Turkmenistan with transit through Afghanistan.

Mobin Saulat, Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Systems, said that the Chinese have shown interest because TAPI could act as an alternative to One Belt, One Road, or as a sub-project.

Chinese participation would only come after the pipeline construction is completed, Pakistan’s Daily Times reported.

The TAPI pipeline project was inaugurated by leaders of the four countries in January 2016. The 1,814-kilometer gas pipeline originates in the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan and will pass through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. At least 816 kilometers of the pipeline will pass through the territory of Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the pipeline passes through Herat, Farah, Nimroz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces.

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 USD.

The project is planned to be completed by the end of 2019.

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.

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