Pakistan and Turkmenistan Sign Joint Implementation Plan for TAPI Gas Pipeline Project

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Pakistan and Turkmenistan Sign Joint Implementation Plan for TAPI Gas Pipeline Project

Flags of Turkmenistan & Pakistan (© Shutterstock/esfera)
Flags of Turkmenistan & Pakistan (© Shutterstock/esfera)

Pakistan and Turkmenistan have taken a significant step towards expediting the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

According to a Business Standard report, the two countries signed a Joint Implementation Plan (JIP) on Thursday, June 9, aiming to accelerate the completion of the feasibility study.

The signing ceremony was attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, key cabinet members, and representatives from the Petroleum Division and Inter State Gas Systems Pvt Ltd, as reported by The Express Tribune.

The JIP signing took place during a two-day visit to Pakistan by a high-ranking Turkmenistan team led by State Minister and Head of TurkmenGaz, Maksat Babayev, Deputy Minister of Energy Annageldi Saparov, and CEO and Chairman of BOD, TPCL, Muhammetmyrat Amanov.

The agreement establishes a Senior Coordination Committee (SCC) that will oversee and expedite project activities, with Pakistan's Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Jehanzeb Khan, nominated as the head of the SCC, according to The Express Tribune.

Prime Minister Shehbaz emphasized the significance of the TAPI gas pipeline project for his government's vision, stating that it would ensure energy security, economic growth, and prosperity not only for Pakistan but for the entire region.

"TAPI gas project is a manifestation of the strategic cooperation between Pakistan and Turkmenistan in the energy sector," the PM Office quoted Shehbaz as saying.

The prime minister highlighted the strong historical, cultural, and religious ties between Pakistan and Turkmenistan and expressed a desire to enhance economic and commercial relations further. He also proposed exploring gas connectivity from the Chaman border to Gwadar and constructing LNG terminals at Gwadar to expand gas supplies to Europe and global LNG markets.

The TAPI gas pipeline project aims to transport natural gas from the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan. Over a 30-year period, the pipeline is expected to deliver up to 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year, with Pakistan's off-take estimated at 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD) through a 56-inch diameter pipeline.

The proposed pipeline route spans from the supply source in Turkmenistan through Herat, Kandahar, Chaman, Zhob, DG Khan, Multan, and Fazilika, covering a distance of 1,849 kilometers.

According to The Express Tribune, the interactions between the Turkmen delegation and Pakistani officials were marked by mutual goodwill, cooperation, and amity. The visiting delegation expressed gratitude for the warm hospitality extended to them and expressed optimism for the continued expansion of bilateral ties between the two countries.

The TAPI gas pipeline project is expected to significantly enhance Pakistan's energy security and make its industrial sector globally competitive through access to low-cost gas supplies. This development is expected to create extensive employment opportunities, particularly for the country's youth.

Pakistan remains committed to the TAPI gas pipeline project as an essential solution to emerging energy challenges and as a symbol of substantial commercial and energy cooperation between Pakistan and Central Asia.

In February, Pakistan expressed its willingness to continue with the project even without India.

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