17 Oct 2023 12:14

Afghanistan govt to buy land for TAPI gas pipeline

ASHGABAT. Oct 17 (Interfax) - The government of Afghanistan has decided to buy land along the route for the future Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and is prepared to move ahead with construction of the country's section of the pipeline, Afghan news channel TOLOnews reported.

The country is now secure and Kabul has made the decision to acquire land for the TAPI project, the press secretary for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, Humayun Afghan said. Afghanistan has thus confirmed its willingness to start work on the project's practical implementation.

Afghanistan sees the TAPI pipeline as a key project for the country's economic development. In addition to creating thousands of jobs, the pipeline will generate substantial transit revenue for the country.

Pakistan is also moving to accelerate the practical implementation of the TAPI project. In June 2023, the country's Cabinet approved a joint plan to implement the project, which Pakistan Today reported was intended to accelerate the completion of the feasibility study for the pipeline and move on to the construction stage.

The joint plan was signed by Pakistan's Energy Ministry and Turkmenistan's state gas pipeline Turkmengaz during a visit to Islamabad by a Turkmen delegation in early June 2023.

The TAPI project calls for building a gas pipeline with capacity to carry 33 billion cubic meters per year from the Galkynysh field in Turkmenistan, through the cities of Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan and Quetta and Multan in Pakistan, to Fazilka in western India. The pipeline would stretch 1,814 km, including 214 km in Turkmenistan, 774 km in Afghanistan and 826 km in Pakistan to the border with India. The preliminary cost estimate for the project is $10 billion.

The project is being carried out by the consortium TAPI Pipeline Co. Ltd, which is 85% owned by Turkmengaz. Afghanistan's Afghan Gas Enterprise, Pakistan's Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Ltd and India's GAIL each hold 5%.

Construction of the Turkmen section of the pipeline began in December 2015 and is now almost finished. The groundbreaking for the Afghan section took place in February 2018.