Friday August 19, 2022

Turkmenistan assures Pakistan to address gas price concerns

By Our Correspondent
September 19, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Turkmenistan on Friday assured Pakistan to allay its concerns over gas price and delivery point related to the proposed trans-nation pipeline project that has been delayed for four years.

A Turkmenistan’s state delegation said Pakistan’s concerns will be adequately addressed in the relevant agreements. Negotiations regarding Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas price will start as soon as COVID-19 situation improves globally, the delegation said during a meeting with Pakistani officials.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar represented Pakistani side with Turkmenistan delegation headed by Muhammetmyrat Amanov, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) Pipeline Company Limited at ministry of energy. Atadjan Movlamov Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan also attended the meeting.

TAPI being dubbed as the peace pipeline will bring natural gas from the Gylkynish and adjacent gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The ADB is acting as the facilitator and coordinator for the project. The project conceived a 56-inch diameter 1,680 kilometres pipeline with design capacity of 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (bcfd) from Turkmen gas sources. The project will cost around $10 billion and India and Pakistan will get 1.3 bcfd each while the remaining would be for Afghanistan.

The project was scheduled to achieve financial close in 2016.

Turkmen and Pakistani official discussed the concerns pertaining to price and delivery point. Both the sides agreed to complete construction works related to the proposed project.

The progress on the project was reviewed during the meeting, and both sides expressed their satisfaction over the progress made so far by TAPI Pipeline Company despite the challenging coronavirus situation.

Turkmen side said their negotiations with international lending agencies and export credit agencies are going well. They appreciated the support given by Pakistani authorities in timely completing the milestones and progressing fast on the implementation of the project to meet the growing energy needs of Pakistan.

Turkmenistan’s delegation said they intend to start construction activities in Afghanistan by building the gas pipeline from Turkmen-Afghan border to Herat off-take point in Afghanistan.

“The commencement of construction work in Afghanistan will immensely boost the confidence of international investors to invest in the project,” an official statement said. “Pakistan is keenly interested in re-building international standard gas infrastructure in Afghanistan and extending full support at every level to commence such development activities in Afghanistan.”

Pakistan side expressed its readiness to finalise the matter in order to proceed to actual construction work in Pakistan in parallel with Afghanistan. The two sides also agreed to finalise the host government agreement by the end of this year. Pakistani officials said they would like to do the TAPI ground breaking at the earliest after the finalisation of the pending issues.