A high-level delegation from Turkmenistan visited Herat province on Sunday where they said that all preparations are on track to implement the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, TOLOnews Afghan website informs.
Delegates from the two sides signed agreements on expansion of Turghundi-Herat and Aqina-Andkhoi railway projects, as well as on expansion of power distribution to Herat city and practical implementation of TAPI and TAP projects.
In January 2016, leaders from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India officially inaugurated the $10 billion TAPI gas pipeline project, the report notes.
At least 200 kilometers of the pipeline will pass through the territory of Turkmenistan, 735 kilometers – through Afghanistan, 800 kilometers – through Pakistan up to Fazilka settlement on the border with India.
The trans-regional energy project, which will carry gas from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India is being hailed as a major initiative of Turkmenistan for bringing peace and enhancing connectivity in the region.
Afghanistan is expected to earn more than $400 million in transit duties annually from the project. According to President Ghani’s Office, the project will create thousands of job opportunities for Afghans.
Afghanistan will annually get 500 million cubic meters of gas from the project in the first ten years. The amount will increase to one billion cubic meters of gas in the following ten years and 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas in the third 10 years after the completion of the project, TOLOnews indicates.
The TAPI project was recently changed into a collective of other projects that will be implemented alongside this key initiative for Afghanistan. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan 500 kilovolts Line (TAP-500) will transfer Turkmenistan’s electricity to Pakistan through Afghanistan. According to President Ghani’s Office, Afghanistan is expected to earn $110 million USD annually from the TAP project. During this period, three substations of power will be established in Herat, Farah and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan.
An optic fiber will also connect regional and neighboring countries under the TAPI project. Another major part of the project is the national and regional railway, which connects Pakistan and Turkmenistan through Afghanistan.
Earlier, the railway of Torghundi Port of Afghanistan was reconstructed by Turkmenistan. This made it possible to increase the capacity of Torghundi station and strengthen its value for the turnover of landlocked Afghanistan. The country receives the most convenient way for exporting its products to foreign markets and for importing demanded foreign goods along this railway.
Railways and highways connected the city of Torghundi in Herat province of Afghanistan with Ashgabat, then with the port of Turkmenbashi on the Caspian Sea. Then, the revived Lazurite corridor continues through the Caspian Sea to Baku, and through Tbilisi to Ankara to get Istanbul.