Tapi Project Makes Progress in Pakistan
Pakistan’s Defence Ministry has approved the route of the $10bn four-nation Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) pipeline project, domestic newspaper, Dawn, reported December 13.
With this approval, Pakistani state-owned Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) can now carry out an aerial survey required ahead of launching the civil work. "The ministry has given its clearance over the route of Tapi project, enabling us to complete the aerial survey of some remaining portions of the route. Hopefully we will complete it within a month or so," ISGS’s managing director Mobin Saulat told the Pakistani newspaper.
The approval comes almost one and half years after ISGC applied to the ministry in July 2017. This Tapi route in Pakistan begins from Chaman and ends in Multan district via Quetta and Dera Ismail Khan, Dawn said.
Saulat said that civil work is expected to start June 2019 after breaking ground and the completion of the entire preparatory works. The detailed design, topographic surveys, etc. have already been completed. Only the aerial survey of some patches of the route remains and it will also be completed soon, Saulat added.
"Similarly, the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contract has already been awarded to a couple of European companies by an international consortium entrusted with the task to accomplish the project," he told the newspaper.
He said that India had already built the necessary infrastructure (laying its pipeline) at the project’s end point in the Fazilka district, that borders Pakistan near Multan.
Tapi's total length is planned to be 1,814 km, of which 214 km runs through Turkmenistan, 774 km through Afghanistan, and 826 km through Pakistan to the border with India. Work on the Afghan section of the Tapi pipeline started late February with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place in Herat city.
The pipeline aims to transfer 33bn m³/yr of gas from Turkmenistan’s giant Galkynysh gas field to participating countries by 2020. However, many believe the pipeline may not be built, given the security situation in Afghanistan. Earlier this year, unidentified gunmen killed five mine-clearance workers in Afghanistan.