ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN – The shareholders of the TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL) signed an Investment Agreement today in a ceremony witnessed by petroleum ministers and senior government officials of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and senior Asian Development Bank (ADB) officials. The agreement will pave the way for the delivery of long-term natural gas supplies to Pakistan, helping it address energy shortages.
The Investment Agreement provides an initial budget of over $200 million to fund the next phase of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline. This includes funding detailed engineering and route surveys, environmental and social safeguard studies, and procurement and financing activities, to enable a final investment decision, after which construction can begin. Construction is estimated to take up to 3 years.
“TAPI will help bring in 13.8 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan to meet Pakistan’s growing energy demand,” said Jam Kamal Khan, Minister of State in Pakistan’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. “It will boost the country’s energy security, bring economic benefits to our people through job opportunities, and provide and upgrade associated infrastructure.”
TPCL will build, own, and operate the TAPI pipeline, which once completed, will transport up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from Turkmenistan to the 3 other countries for the next 30 years. The pipeline stretches about 1,600 kilometers from the Afghan/Turkmen border to the Pakistan/Indian border.
“TAPI exemplifies ADB’s key role in promoting regional cooperation and integration over the past 20 years. It will unlock economic opportunities, transform infrastructure, and diversify the energy market for Turkmenistan, and enhance energy security for the region,” said Sean O’Sullivan, Director General of ADB’s Central and West Asia Department.
Acting as TAPI secretariat since 2003 and as transaction advisor since 2013, ADB has been instrumental in the progress of the TAPI pipeline to date. In the latter role, ADB helped establish TPCL, select Turkmengaz as consortium leader, and finalize the Shareholders and Investment Agreements.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.