- Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India on February 23, 2018 ceremonially broke ground on the Afghan section of an ambitious, multi-billion dollar TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India-TAPI) gas pipeline expected to help ease energy deficits in South Asia
- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov , Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India’s External Affairs Minister of state M. J. Akbar attended the ceremony at the border post of Serkhetabat, (once the southernmost tip of the Soviet Union) which is gas-rich Turkmenistan’s border with Afghanistan.
- Turkmenistan President Berdymukhamedov, whose country currently depends heavily on China as a market for its natural gas exports, called diversification of gas deliveries an “important part of the politics” of the isolated Central Asian country.
About TAPI Gas Pipeline
- The quartet (four countries) aims to complete the 1,840-kilometre (1,143-mile) pipeline and begin pumping natural gas from Turkmenistan’s giant Galkynysh gas field by the beginning of 2020. Galkynysh is the second-biggest gas field in the world .
- While the pipeline will traverse war-wracked Afghanistan, raising security concerns, the bulk of the 33 billion cubic metres of gas to be pumped annually through the conduit will be purchased by South Asian rivals Pakistan and India.
- In November 2014, the Pipeline Consortium, TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL) was incorporated in Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency. The Share Holders Agreement of TPCL was also signed on 13th December 2015. The shareholding percentage in the TPCL would be Turkmenistan 85%, India 5%, Pakistan 5% and Afghanistan 5%.
- The Pipeline will enter India at Fazilka, Punjab. The gas available from the project is expected to boost development of industrial and commercial activities in Fazilka district, including start of CNG and City gas distribution and associated employment generation.
- The project is envisaged to supply 38 MMSCMD of natural gas to India.