ISLAMABAD: Turkmenistan has completed construction of gas pipeline in its section under TAPI project, following which a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to be performed at the Turkmen border city of Serhetabat on Friday to take the pipeline to Afghanistan.
The grand inaugural ceremony would be preceded by a Steering Committee meeting of the project’s participating countries – Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) – at Mary City in Turkmenistan.
Talking to APP, Managing Director Inter State Gas Systems (Pvt) Limited (ISGSL) Mobin Saulat, who is in Turkmenistan to attend bilateral and multilateral meetings on the TAPI project, called the event “historic and substantial positive turn in the pipeline’s history.” Answering a question, he said the ISGSL, which is the project execution company in Pakistan, had initiated FEED (Front End Engineering Design) activities of the TAPI gas pipeline project’s Pakistan section in March 2017.
“Since then the company has moved diligently towards TAPI gas pipeline’s practical implementation,” he said.
The TAPI gas pipeline, first envisaged in the 90’s had been lying in the backburner for many years but saw revitalization during the present government’s tenure, which made it a key component of the government’s National Energy Policy to import gas.
The MD said the pipeline would substantially add cheap, reliable and environment friendly energy into Pakistan’s national pool and help in achieving socio economic progress in the region. Highlighting importance of the project, Mobin Saulat said the pipeline would help increase the power generation capacity to meet the country’s future energy needs, create more job opportunities in backward areas along the pipeline route and further strengthen the national economy.
Under the project, a 56-inch diameter 1,680km pipeline, having capacity to flow 3.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) gas, would be laid from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India border, which is scheduled to complete in the year 2020.
Through the pipeline, funded by Asian Development Bank, Pakistan and India would be provided 1.325 bcfd gas each and Afghanistan would be getting the share of 0.5 bcfd gas. Meanwhile, official sources told that in Pakistan, financial close of the TAPI gas pipeline was expected to be achieved this year, following which construction work would start on this multi-billion-dollar project.
“The construction work on the project will start after the completion of technical studies and achieving the financial close, which expected to be completed during this year,” they said. They said TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL), the project executing company, had been jointly formed by the four TAPI parties, which appointed the consultant to undertake the Pre-FID activities including the detailed survey of the entire route, environment impact assessment studies and Front-End Engineering Design (FEED).
The sources informed that the procurement process for lines pipe, long lead items and appointment of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor had been started. While, the company has appointed a legal counsel for rendering legal services on the agreements to be executed by the company, they added.