ADB touch to regional gas pipeline project
Posted on November 21st, 2013

‚ By NJ Thakuria

Guwahati: The political turmoil may not recede in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the initiative for an inter-country gas pipeline project continues as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been -Ëœappointed transaction advisor to help attract a commercial consortium leader of global repute that will build, own and operate the planned 1,800-kilometer natural gas pipeline.

The gas pipeline connecting Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan with‚  India is estimated to export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India over 30 years. The project (TAPI), supposed to be completed by 2017 will allow the landlocked Turkmenistan to diversify its gas export markets to the southeast Asia and it will also provide a vital new fuel source for developing Afghanistan and help Pakistan tackle chronic fuel shortages, said a statement issued on November 19,
2013 by the ADB from Ashgabat of Turkmenistan.

-We are grateful for the confidence the parties have in ADB to help move this important gas project one step closer to fruition,- said Klaus Gerhaeusser, ADB director general in-charge of central and west Asia department. He also added that it would bring -Ëœmultiple benefits to the participants, including access to new markets, enhanced energy security and job opportunities, and have transformational impact on regional cooperation and boost other initiatives aimed at bringing peace and stability to the region-â„¢.

The ADB is understood to advise on the establishment of the said gas pipeline project and also -Ëœhandle the bidding and selection of a commercial consortium leader to build, own and operate the pipeline-â„¢.

The entire project is jointly owned by four country gas firms namely Turkmengas, Afghan Gas Enterprise, Inter State Gas Systems pvt ltd and GAIL (India) ltd.

The energy starved India, which is set to become the third largest energy consumer in the globe by 2025 after the US and China, continues it-â„¢s initiative for acquiring natural gas from Myanmar too. However, few days the Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid termed the TAPI gas pipeline project as a real-time investment for the country of one billion populaces. The minister of course admitted that it would be necessary to keep patience as the route involves countries (read Afghanistan and Pakistan) with difficult situations till today.

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