Afghanistan Starts Work on Gas Import Line
Top officials of nations along the route of the long-awaited Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline project met in Herat city, Afghanistan February 23 to inaugurate the groundbreaking ceremony of the first section.
Turkmenistan, the source of the gas and an 85% shareholder in the $10bn project, started work on its territory in 2015, but immediately stopped development after laying 20 km, owing to financial problems and the plunging oil and gas prices. Many experts now believe that Tapi will be stopped in its tracks by ongoing war in Afghanistan.
The pipeline is projected to transfer 33bn m3/yr of gas from Turkmenistan’s giant Galkynysh gas field to participating countries by 2020, a year later than the initial plan.
The total length of Tapi will be 1,814 km, of which 214 km run through Turkmenistan; 774 km through Afghanistan; and 826 km through Pakistan to the border with India.
Present were the Afghan and Turkmen presidents, Ashraf Ghani and Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, plus and Pakistan's prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India's junior foreign affairs minister MJ Akbar.