The leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan celebrated with the foreign minister of India the completion of the Turkmen section of the trans-Afghanistan pipeline which will transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
“From 2015, we have done a lot of work in order to reach the current phase of the project,” explained Muhammetmyrat Amanov, CEO of the TAPI Pipeline Company.
“We have concluded our work in Turkmenistan and we now move to Afghanistan. We plan to finish the job and put gas in the pipeline towards the end of 2019.”
Related reading: TAPI: a pipeline for peace and stability
Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan are of great concern to everyone involved in the project. The Taliban have declared that they wish to destroy the pipeline.
Afghan authorities say all necessary measures have been taken.
“Afghanistan is, of course, a country which has a high risk of security, but in the meantime, we have full preparation from the governments’ side for protecting TAPI,” said the acting minister of mines and petroleum of Afghanistan, Nargis Nehan.
“We are aware of the risk, but you also understand that TAPI is such an important project, that not only the government of Afghanistan but also the people will do whatever they can to protect the pipeline.”
The pipeline will run more than 1,800 km to the Fazilka Village on the Indo-Pakistani border.
It will provide Afghanistan with 14 million standard cubic meters per day of natural gas, while India and Pakistan will each receive close to 40 million standard cubic meters.
Turkmenistan always had large gas fields, but its transfer to other countries proved difficult. TAPI strengthens the economy of central Asia, opens up new fields of cooperation, while it boosts the energy sufficiency of the four countries involved in the project.
“Afghanistan needs economic stability in order to create political stability,” said the Emirati economy minister, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori.
“People there, need to create revenue and income, industries, businesses. This pipeline is going to satisfy these needs of Afghanistan. Eventually, this is also moving to Pakistan, moving into India. The connection of the four countries, you will also see an exchange of knowledge, know how, investments between all these nations.”
The importance of the TAPI pipeline was underlined by the presence of many government representatives from the wider region.