ISLAMABAD: Long-awaited work on the construction of a multi-billion dollars Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project is set to start soon, as a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled on February 23, 2018, sources told Pakistan Today on Thursday.
According to sources, Turkmenistan has sent invites to the heads of Pakistan, India, and Iran to witness the ground-breaking ceremony for the Afghanistan section of the TAPI gas pipeline project scheduled to be held on February 23 on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan border. They said financial close of the TAPI gas pipeline is expected to be achieved this year, following which construction work would start on this multi-billion dollars project.
TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL)—the project executing company—had been jointly formed by the four TAPI parties, which appointed the consultant to undertake the pre-FID activities, including the detailed survey of the entire route, environment impact assessment studies, and front-end engineering design (FEED), sources added.
Sharing details, the sources also informed that the procurement process for lines pipe, long lead items and appointment of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor had been started. Moreover, the company has also appointed a legal counsel for rendering legal services on the agreements to be executed by the company, they added.
“The TAPI gas pipeline project had entered its practical phase in Pakistan after the process of initiating FEED and route survey was formally inaugurated in March, last year,” they said, adding that TAPI member countries will lay the pipeline on their part of the country.
The project aims to export up to 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year through a proposed 1,814-kilometre pipeline from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. And, through the pipeline, Pakistan and India would be provided 1.325 bcfd gas each, whereas Afghanistan would be getting the share of 0.5 bcfd gas.
The 1,800km long pipeline, which begins from the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan, passes through Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan, moves through Pakistan via Quetta and Multan and concludes at Fazilka in India.
Under the project, a 56-inch diameter 1,680km pipeline, having the capacity to flow 3.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) gas, would be laid from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India border, which is scheduled to complete in the year 2020.
It is worth mentioning here that another groundbreaking ceremony for construction of white oil pipelines is also scheduled during the next month. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the construction of the White Oil Pipeline Mogas (WOPM) project at Port Qasim last December 2017, enabling the transportation of multiple refined petroleum products to central and northern Pakistan.
This pipeline will transport refined petroleum products to central and northern regions of Pakistan, accounting for almost 60pc of total (domestic) petroleum consumption.