Wednesday May 22, 2024

TAPI project: Turkmenistan agrees to cut gas prices, address other concerns

By Israr Khan
September 19, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Turkmenistan has assured Pakistan to lower gas price and address other concerns in a bid to kick off construction work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

A Turkmenistan delegation headed by Muhammetmyrat Amanov, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of TPCL (TAPI Pipeline Company Limited) on TAPI, discussed the project on Friday Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar. Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan Atadjan Movlamov also attended the meeting. Secretary Petroleum, MD Inter-State Gas Systems (Pvt) Ltd and other high officials in the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Finance and office of Attorney General for Pakistan were also in attendance.

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

Turkmenistan delegation informed that 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. 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.

Both sides also discussed Pakistan’s concerns pertaining to commercial and legal aspects. The Turkmen side assured that Pakistan’s concerns will be adequately addressed in the relevant agreements, and negotiations will start as soon as COVID-19 situation improves globally. 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.

Turkmen side informed that their negotiations with international lending agencies and export credit agencies are going well. Pakistan side informed that it would like to do the TAPI ground breaking in Pakistan at the earliest after the finalisation of the issues under discussion. Turkmenistan 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 of Pakistan.

TAPI is a natural gas trans-country pipeline project to supply gas from Turkmenistan to other three countries.