ISLAMABAD - The Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will be inaugurated by the end of this year and the gas supply will start within three to four years,
Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline will be inaugurated on December 25, 2015 and would be completed in next three to four years which would help overcome gas shortage in the country, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said while addressing a press conference here. On the occasion the minister also announced that the government will notify up to 6 percent increase in consumers gas prices effective from next month.
Flanked by the State Minister for Petroleum, Mir Jam Kamal, and other senior officials of the ministry, Khaqan Abbasi said that decision regarding the inauguration of project was finalised during the meeting of the TAPI steering committee held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, earlier this month. It was also decided in the meeting that Turkmenistan state owned company Turkmengaz will lead the consortium for the pipeline carrying gas from the energy rich Central Asian state to energy-starved south Asian states of India and Pakistan, the minister informed.
Abbasi said that the state owned Turkmengaz Company will lead the consortium for the TAPI and will oversee coordination in the construction, financing, ownership and operation of the project. TAPI Limited operating company includes Turkmengaz State Concern, Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited, Afghan Gas Corporation, and GAIL Limited with equal shares, the minister added.
He said that as per agreement it is prerequisite for Pakistan, India and Afghanistan to have 5pc shares in the project, Turkmengaz, as a leader of consortium, will have 51pc shares while the rest will be opened to other partner countries. He said that upstream developmental cost of the project is approximately $15 billion, while downstream will cost $10 billion, adding that developmental work on both will start simultaneously. He said that the laying of the pipeline from Turkmenistan via Hirat, Kandhar, Chaman, Quetta and Dera Gazi Khan to Multan to India will be completed within three years. Shahid Khaqan said that the TAPI project has the capacity to supply 3.2 bcfd gas, out of which both Pakistan and India would get 1.32 bcfd gas each. Afghanistan would get $600 million, transit fee, from Pakistan and India which would be its major source of income, he added.
Security is the main issue for this huge investment project and Afghanistan government has assured for providing fool proof security of the project, the minister said.
“Security is their major concern and they would establish it on modern grounds”. He further informed that they would endeavor to make it as much up to date that they can get information of any untoward incident in advance for taking appropriate steps accordingly.
“Keeping in view Pakistan’s energy requirement we will not only complete TAPI, but Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline as well as construction of more Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals,’ the minister said. Furthermore he said that China was constructing a gas pipeline in Pakistan, while negotiations are underway with Russia of laying a gas pipeline at a cost of $2.5 billion. He said that if the TAPI was timely completed the parties will seriously consider to lay another pipeline from Turkmenistan.
Replying a query regarding LNG agreement with Qatar, Khaqan Abbasi said that a Qatari delegation was coming to Islamabad on August 24 to deliberate on the government to government agreement on LNG.