$22 billion TAPI gas pipeline project faces setback

$22 billion TAPI gas pipeline project faces setback

KABUL - Afghan *Officials from the Ministry of Mines said practical work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project might be delayed as the route of the pipeline is not clear and the land over which the pipeline runs still needs to be acquired. *

Work on the TAPI pipeline in Afghanistan started five months ago.

“We will first do assessments on the environment and the acquisition of land on the TAPI route and then we will step into the construction phase. It means that we will need to go through some stages ahead of construction,” Abdul Qadir Mutfi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Mines told TOLOnews.

An analyst said a weak performance by government has slowed down work on the major economic project.

“There is not much time left for practical work on the project. Gas will not be transferred through the pipeline by 2020 if the process goes as it is,” said Zaman Hashemi, an analyst in mining affairs.

“We urge government not to delay this project as it will badly affect the country’s economy,” said Simin Barekzai, an MP.

Meanwhile, the spokesman said so far at least 11 agreements have been signed between partner countries on TAPI.

The TAPI pipeline project was inaugurated by leaders of four countries in January 2016. The 1,814-kilometer gas pipeline will pass through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. At least 816 kilometers of the pipeline will pass through the territory of Afghanistan.

The pipeline passes through Herat, Farah, Nimroz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the TAPI pipeline will be constructed alongside the Kandahar–Herat Highway in western Afghanistan, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan.

The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near its border with Pakistan. The project will cost $22.5 billion USD.