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ADB confident in TAPI construction before 2020

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World Pipelines,

On 7 April, an investment agreement was signed by the shareholders of the TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL). Petroleum Ministers and senior officials of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and senior Asian Development Bank (ADB) officials were there to witness the signing. It was agreed by the four countries that an amount of over US$200 million would be invested.

Yagshygeldi Kakayev, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan stated: “The financial support committed by the shareholders of TAPI under this investment agreement is a true testament of their intention to get this historic project off the ground and running. Turkmenistan’s vision is strongly aligned with that of its TAPI neighbours to make this project a reality and to deliver a truly regional project that will address energy demands and support economic prosperity and security in the region.”

Similarly, the ADB is confident in the ability to overcome the challenges of construction of the US$10 billion natural gas TAPI pipeline through Afghanistan's most violent areas by 2020.

The recent ADB press release stated: “This [the US$200 million investment] includes funding for detailed engineering and route surveys, environmental and social safeguard studies, and procurement and financing activities, to enable a final investment decision, after which construction can begin. Construction is estimated to take up to three years.

Sean O’Sullivan, the Central and West Asia Director General of the ADB, explained: “TAPI exemplifies ADB’s key role in promoting regional co-operation and integration over the past 20 years. We’re going through some of the toughest territory in Afghanistan. TAPI will unlock economic opportunities, transform infrastructure, diversify the energy market for Turkmenistan and enhance energy security for the region. The challenge is there. There’s no doubt about it, but I am sure it’s doable. I think if it happens, it will be quite an unprecedented example of regional co-operation, particularly in a region that finds it difficult to co-operate.”

The ADB has been providing TAPI with administrative advice since 2003, and has been its transaction advisor since 2013. The ADB has aided TAPI in establishing the pipeline, contracting Turkmengaz as its consortium leader, while also finalising the shareholder and investment agreements for the project.

Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker

Sources: Ary News, The Himalayan Times, The Diplomat, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, NetIndian

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