Pakistan and Turkmenistan inked the finalised version of the Host Government Agreement (HGA) on the Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline network in Islamabad on Tuesday 12 March.
The agreement was signed by the Federal Secretary Petroleum, Mian Asad Hayauddin from the Pakistani side, and CEO of TPCL Mr. Amanov. Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Mr. Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Mr. R. Meredov, Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan were also present on the occasion.
Mr. Ghulam Sarwar Khan welcomed the signing of the HGA as an important event in the history of the TAPI gas pipeline project. The Federal Minister reiterated the government’s complete commitment towards the early and successful implementation of the project and remained hopeful that the ground breaking of the project can be held in Pakistan this year. The Turkmen Foreign Minister appraised the Minster of his Government’s initiatives in ensuring that the timelines of the project are being met. The Turkmen Minister appreciated the fact that the HGA has been signed through mutual agreement and consensus. He welcomed Pakistan’s continued commitment and active interest in the TAPI gas project. He appreciated the strong support being received by Pakistan towards the TAPI gas pipeline project. The Turkmen Minister discussed with the Pakistani delegation his Government’s plan to make a transport and energy corridor between Pakistan and Turkmenistan via Afghanistan, and to lay an optic fibre network parallel to the route of the pipeline and see its possible extension to China.
TAPI gas pipeline project aims to bring natural gas from the Galkynysh and adjacent gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The ADB is acting as the facilitator and co-ordinator for the project. It is proposed to lay a 56 in. diameter 1680 km pipeline with a design capacity of 3.2 billion ft3/y of natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to the Pak-India border. There are two phases of this project, the first phase is the free flow phase with an estimated cost of US$5 - 6 billion. The second phase is the installation of compressor stations, with the cost of US$1.9 - 2 billion. Civil works of the project have already commenced in Afghanistan after the project’s ground breaking (Afghan section) was held last year. Both Turkmenistan and Pakistan resolved to hold the Steering Committee meeting of the project in March 2019. The tenders relating to this project will analysed in the next two months. The construction equipment will be procured in May 2019.The land acquired in July 2019.
Federal Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan praised the current state of friendly bilateral relations between both the countries and expressed his satisfaction on the relations being expanded into fields such as technology. The Turkmen Minister termed Pakistan as a brotherly country which holds a significant place in Turkmenistan’s global outlook.
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