President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov invited companies and financial institutions of Saudi Arabia to take part in construction project of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) transnational gas pipeline, the Turkmen government said in a message on Monday.
The proposal was made during the Turkmen president’s meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in Riyadh, where the Turkmen leader is on an official visit May 1-3.
Berdimuhamedov during the meeting with Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said the TAPI project is intended to become a bridge of friendship between the countries of the region.
He said that this “energy main line will bring the hearth to homes of the fraternal peoples of the neighboring countries, provide ample opportunities for further development of their economies, contribute to enhancing the welfare of the population, creation of new jobs.”
The president of Turkmenistan also invited Qatar to participate in the TAPI project during a recent meeting in Ashgabat with President of the Qatar Olympic Committee Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
The main document for the TAPI, called the Ashgabat Interstate Agreement, was signed in 2010. The groundbreaking ceremony for TAPI’s Turkmen section was held in mid-December of 2015. The pipeline’s length can reach 1,814 kilometres, including 214 kilometers running through Turkmenistan, 774 kilometres – Afghanistan and 826 kilometres – Pakistan.
The State Concern ‘Turkmengaz’, which is the leader of the consortium TAPI Pipeline Company Limited, as well as Afghan Gas Enterprise (Afghanistan), Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited (Pakistan) and Gail Limited (India), which entered this consortium in December 2015 as shareholders, achieved their first investment agreement worth $200 million Apr. 7.
It is expected that the first payments will be spent on development work. All this will allow carrying out studies to assess the location of the future route, environmental risks and help to identify the final amount of funds needed for the project.