During the separate session of the X Gas Congress of Turkmenistan devoted to the implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline project, the participants of the discussion expressed their opinion on this large-scale project.
Roland Pladet, Principal Finance Specialist, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
– Yesterday, after a short break, I returned to the TAPI project; I was very impressed with the progress that the parties had reached. I believe that, finally, this important project will be implemented. ADB has always supported the TAPI and would continue to support it at the highest government level.
– What would ADB say about the TAPI project importance?
– The project has a huge potential in many areas. It is technically, economically and financially important and beneficial to all parties, so we are ready to cooperate with the TAPI project in the issues related to security, social and management areas.
We would be happy to continue further cooperation with the governments of the TAPI countries, helping to develop and implement this ambitious project.
Harry Philp, Head of Middle East, South & Central Asia, Portland Advisers
– Would you, please, tell us about the prospects of the TAPI project and, perhaps, about the difficulties that you had to face in your work?
– The prospects of the TAPI are very impressive. We have done a lot over the past six months. Considering the level of support that we see from key international banks and, more importantly, from export credit agencies, thanks to which these banks participate in the project, we have achieved very impressive indicators on the level of financing that make the project implementable.
Yes, we still face some difficulties, because to complete the project, you need to conclude contracts with the countries, conclude agreements with the governments of the countries-participants, taking into account the importance of compliance with legislation related to ecology and nature protection standards. The safety of both pipeline workers and the construction site itself is very important. In these areas, over the past six months, we have achieved significant results.
We have no problem with environmental issues, as the pipeline will be laid under the ground. Upon completion of construction, gas that nonoffensive would replace coal and coal production in the countries-. I am sure that the TAPI will serve as an impulse for big “green” transformations.
We are looking for an opportunity to complete the financial part of the project by the first quarter of 2020. After that, the construction will start in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
– At the beginning of the year, Pakistan has already initiated the start of construction. A number of agreements were signed between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. There are still some contracts, but they, nevertheless, began construction works at their territory. When, in your opinion, the Pakistani side would be able to complete all paperwork and start real construction?
– I think that any interstate agreements, even the draft agreement, are the basis for concrete steps. Later, any amendments can be added to the agreements. However, they would not be the factors that limit the construction of the project.