Turkmenistan will start building a long-delayed, US$10 billion gas pipeline to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan in early December, a Turkmen government official announced yesterday.
The TAPI project, supported by the US and the Asian Development Bank, has been proposed by Turkmenistan since the 1990s. But starting work on the pipeline has been delayed because of the problem of crossing Afghanistan.
The pipeline will allow Turkmenistan to find new consumers in Asia and cut its dependence on China, which buys 30 billion m3/yr of gas.
It is expected that the construction of the pipeline will take three years.
The 1735 km pipeline, with a proposed annual capacity of 33 billion m3/yr of gas, will run more than 700 km across Afghanistan on its way to Pakistan and India.
Turkmenistan plans to fill the pipeline with gas from its Galkynysh field, the world's second-largest reservoir of natural gas.
A Turkmenistan government official said that “The Turkmen stretch of the pipeline (to the Afghan border) will be built by a (Turkmen) oil and gas pipeline construction firm.”
Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner
Sources: Reuters, Khaama Press