- Minister says groundbreaking of the project could be held in Pakistan this year
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkmenistan have inked the finalised version of the Host Government Agreement (HGA) on the Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) gas pipeline network.
The agreement was signed in Islamabad on Tuesday by Petroleum Secretary Mian Asad Hayauddin from the Pakistani side and TPCL CEO Muhammetmyrat Amanov. Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Turkmenistan Foreign Minister R Meredov were also present on the occasion.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan termed the signing of the HGA as an important event in the history of the TAPI gas pipeline project. He reiterated the government’s commitment towards early and successful implementation of the project, adding that the groundbreaking of the project could be held in Pakistan this year.
The Turkmen foreign minister on the occasion appraised Ghulam Sarwar Khan of his government’s initiatives in ensuring that the timelines of the project are being met. He appreciated the fact that the HGA has been signed through mutual agreement and consensus.
Meredov welcomed Pakistan’s continued commitment and active interest in the TAPI gas project. He appreciated the strong support being received by Pakistan towards the TAPI gas pipeline project.
The Turkmen minister discussed with the Pakistani delegation his government’s plan to establish a transport and energy corridor between Pakistan and Turkmenistan via Afghanistan and to lay an optic fiber network parallel to the route of the pipeline and see its possible extension till China.
TAPI gas pipeline project aims to bring natural gas from the Gylkynish and adjacent gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The Asian Development Bank is acting as a facilitator and coordinator for the project. It is proposed to lay a 56-inch diameter 1,680km pipeline with a design capacity of 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per annum from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India border.
There are two phases of this project; the first phase is free flow phase with an estimated cost of $5 to $6 billion, while the second phase would include installation of compressor stations with a cost of $1.9 to $2 billion. Civil works of the project have already commenced in Afghanistan after the project’s groundbreaking (Afghan section) last year.
Both Turkmenistan and Pakistan have resolved to hold the steering committee meeting of the project in March 2019. The tenders regarding this project would be analyzed in the next two months. The construction equipment will be procured in May 2019.
Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan praised the current state of friendly bilateral relations between both the countries and expressed his satisfaction on the relations being expanded into fields such as technology.
The Turkmen minister termed Pakistan as a brotherly country which holds a significant place in Turkmenistan’s global outlook.