Practical work of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project in Afghanistan will start soon, Abdul Qader Mutafi, spokesman for Afghan Ministry of mines and petroleum told Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview.
According to Mutafi, the implementation of the gas pipeline project with a capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of gas is “being being implemented in accordance with the plan and timetable and had made good progress”.
The Ministry says certain progress has been achieved in the settlement of legal procedures and administrative issues.
The first phase of work on the Afghan segment of the pipeline involved finalization of a legal framework, land management, technical surveys and funding, needed to move to the construction phase of the pipeline.
The official also said there were enough funds to implement the pipeline. He claimed, saying the Asian Development Bank recently evinced an interest in providing $1billion for the project.
As has been repeatedly emphasized by many experts and officials, the Afghan authorities consider the benefits of the future gas line in two contexts – external or regional and internal.
In the regional dimension, the TAPI pipeline will strengthen economic cooperation between Central and South Asian countries. The project will unlock the potential of multilateral cooperation in the field of energy, communications and transport, which will bring economic, political and diplomatic benefits to Afghans. On a global scale, Afghanistan’s image is often associated with war and terrorism, which naturally diminishes the country’s economic importance in the region. However, Kabul hopes that with the implementation of the TAPI project, Afghanistan’s credibility in the system of regional economic relations will also grow.
In the internal dimension, the TAPI gas pipeline will play a significant role in the economic rehabilitation of Afghanistan through multimillion-dollar budget revenues, the creation of thousands of jobs, the construction of infrastructure and ensuring energy security, especially in those regions through which Turkmen gas will flow.
In addition to the fact that the gas from TAPI would feed the power generation for industries, in the long term, taking into account the agriculture-based of its economy, Afghanistan plans to use Turkmen gas as a raw material for the production of fertilizers.