ASHGABAT (TCA) — The shareholders of the TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL) signed an Investment Agreement on April 7 in a ceremony witnessed by petroleum ministers and senior government officials of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and senior Asian Development Bank (ADB) officials. It will pave the way for long-term natural gas supplies that will give a major boost to the signatory countries’ economies and energy security, the ADB said in a news release.
The Investment Agreement provides an initial budget of over $200 million to fund the next phase of the development of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline. This includes funding for detailed engineering and route surveys, environmental and social safeguard studies, and procurement and financing activities, to enable a final investment decision, after which construction can begin. Construction is estimated to take up to 3 years.
“The financial support committed by the shareholders of TAPI under this investment agreement is a true testament of their intention to get this historic project off the ground and running,” said Yagshygeldi Kakayev, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan. “Turkmenistan’s vision is strongly aligned with that of its TAPI neighbors to make this project a reality and to deliver a truly regional project that will address energy demands and support economic prosperity and security in the region.”
TPCL will build, own, and operate the TAPI pipeline, which, once completed is expected to transport up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India over 30 years. The pipeline stretches about 1,600 kilometers from the Afghan-Turkmen border to the Pakistan-Indian border.
“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.”
Acting as TAPI secretariat since 2003 and as transaction advisor since 2013, ADB has been instrumental in the progress of the TAPI pipeline to date. In the latter role, ADB helped establish TPCL, select Turkmengaz as consortium leader, and finalize the Shareholders and Investment Agreements.