TAPI GAS PIPELINE GAMES
NGW - The multi-billion dollar four-nation Tapi gas pipeline has been delayed by one year because of the inability of Turkmengaz to achieve financial closure.
Many experts doubt the project will ever be built, despite high-level support from the Asian Development Bank, because its route traverses war-torn Afghanistan. A New Year decision by Turkmenistan abruptly to halt gas supplies to Iran may reinforce such doubts.
Turkmengaz company was earlier scheduled to achieve financial close of the mega project by December 2016, but now it is supposed to attain it in June 2017. This has actually delayed the commissioning of the project till 2020.
Turkmengaz is the leader of the consortium and has 85% equity. Indian Gail, ISGS of Pakistan and Afghan Gas Enterprise (AGE) have 5% stake each.
The Tapi pipeline is projected to export up to 33bn m3 of natural gas a year from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India over 30 years. It was earlier scheduled to be operational in 2019 but, because of delays in achieving financial closure, the pipeline's first gas flows from Turkmenistan are now scheduled for 2020. The much delayed project was formally inaugurated on December 13, 2015.
A top-level delegation from Turkmenistan is due to visit Pakistan this month to hold a series of meetings with country's security agencies to thrash out a plan ensuring security of the Tapi pipeline.
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