TAPI gas pipeline: Pakistan ready to move forward09.02.2023 | 23:10 |
As Afghanistan is ready to assemble special forces for this project, Pakistan has shown readiness to proceed with the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project with or without India. This was stated by State Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Musadik Malik during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, writes Business Recorder, a daily financial newspaper in Pakistan.
Sources of the publication said that the minister informed the Saudi side about the current situation on the TAPI gas pipeline project. Malik noted that Turkmenistan is interested in moving the project forward and stated that Pakistan wants to implement and complete the project as soon as possible with or without India's participation. Malik reportedly said that if India decides to withdraw from the project, Pakistan is ready to buy its share of the gas.
On the issue of Afghanistan, the Minister of State for Oil and Natural Resources acknowledged that the country's security and political situation remain a stumbling block. However, the security problem can be solved if favorable factors are created. According to him, transit revenues from the pipeline will amount to 80 to 85% of Afghanistan's annual budget, making it mandatory to ensure its security.
The minister said he also informed the Saudi side that the Afghan interim leadership had unofficially announced its readiness to create a special security force to secure the pipeline. He added that if Saudi capital or any multilateral financing mechanism is attracted to the project, then its implementation will change the energy and security landscape in the region.
Sources said the Saudi side has indicated that it will closely monitor developments regarding TAPI. They also suggested that if all security problems are resolved and economic aspects are worked out, investment organizations such as PIF (Public Investment Fund - Saudi Arabia State Investment Fund) SDF and Exim Bank can be involved in the project.
During the meeting with the Ministers of Finance, Energy, Minerals, and Industry of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan's Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources also proposed a new project where natural gas from Turkmenistan could be brought to Gwadar via the Chaman gas pipeline and converted into LNG for export.
He noted that if Saudi Arabia joined this project, it could open up new opportunities, and Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Saudi Arabia could become joint LNG exporters.
The topic of TAPI was discussed at the end of January at the meeting of the Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan, Atajan Movlamov, with the Federal Minister of Energy of Pakistan, Khurram Dastgir Khan, during which the parties discussed the prospects for trade and economic cooperation in the fuel and energy sector and further development of bilateral relations.
The Turkmen side informed about the implementation of the projects of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) power transmission line.
Emphasizing the importance of major TAPI and TAP projects for ensuring Pakistan's energy security, the Federal Minister noted that the Government of Pakistan fully supports these joint projects and is interested in their speedy implementation.
Also on Wednesday, February 8, it was voiced again at a meeting between Movlamov and the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Raja Pervez Ashraf. According to the press service of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry, Ashraf was also informed about the implementation of the TAPI and TAP projects. The speaker expressed Pakistan's commitment to their timely completion, which is of great importance for the republic’s economic development.
He noted the productive meetings of the delegation led by the State Minister of Oil Malik during his visit to Turkmenistan in September 2022 and called for the continuation of technical meetings for the speedy implementation of these projects.
At the same time, Ashraf stressed the need to expand bilateral trade and investment and invited Turkmenistan to take advantage of the potential of the Pakistani seaports of Gwadar, Bin Qasim, and Karachi.