Construction of long-delayed $10bn Tapi gas pipeline to begin next week

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other Indian and Afghan leaders are set to attend the project's groundbreaking ceremony.

Interstate Gas Systems managing director Mobin Saulat said the pipeline will finally commence on 13 December.

The Pakistani company is responsible for importing gas through the 1,800km pipeline which was envisaged 25 years back.

The pipeline, which will be 1,420mm in diameter, will have an initial capacity of 27 billion m³ of natural gas a year and would transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India.

TAPI is expected to supply more than 1.3 billion ft³ per day of gas to Pakistan and India and 0.5 billion ft³ to Afghanistan.

"All the four companies have equal shares in TPCL."

In November 2014, Interstate Gas Systems, Turkmenistan's Turkmengas, the Afghan Gas Enterprise and India's Gail have set up a company called Tapi Pipeline Company (TPCL) that will build, own and operate the pipeline.

All the four companies have equal shares in TPCL.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is acting as the facilitator and coordinator for the TAPI gas pipeline project and funded a feasibility study of the project in 2004.

The feasibility study, proposed to lay a 56-inch diameter 1,680km pipeline with design capacity of 3.2 billion ft³ of natural gas per annum from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India border.

In Afghanistan, TAPI will be constructed alongside the Kandahar-Herat Highway, and then through Quetta and Multan in Pakistan.

The pipeline's final destination will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India.

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