Construction of much delayed $10 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline is finally expected to commence on December 13, Turkmenistan Ambassador to Pakistan Atadjan Movlamov said.
Addressing a function in Islamabad, Movlamov said ground breaking ceremony of the 1,735-km long gas pipeline will take next month, Afghanistan’s news agency Khamma Press reported on Thursday.
He said the TAPI project was vital for South Asia’s energy needs.
The state-run gas company – Turkmengaz, which was named project consortium leader for TAPI project in August, will kick off the construction of the gas pipeline.
High level Afghan government officials including, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani who was invited by his counterpart President Berdymuhamedov earlier this month, will attend the ceremony.
TAPI gas pipeline will export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Turkmenistan’s mammoth Galkynysh field to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India over 30 years.
Having a vital for the economic growth of the regional countries, project will create job opportunities for tens of thousands people in the region besides pouring millions of dollars in revenue to Afghanistan every year.
The United States government and Asian Development Bank will support the mega project that will run more than 700 km across Afghanistan on its way to Pakistan and India.
It is estimated that the gas pipeline will become operational once the construction work has been completed in December 2018.