Construction on the much-awaited 1,735 km long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline will move a step closer to reality with the ground-breaking ceremony at the capital of Turkmenistan on December 13.
The pipeline is expected to carry 90 million metric standard cubic meters of natural gas per day (mmscmd) from Galkynysh and Dauletabad fields of Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India over the next 30 years.
While Afghanistan will receive 14 mmscmd gas from Turkmenistan, 38 mmscmd each will be delivered to Pakistan and India. The pipeline will pass through a 200 km stretch in Turkmenistan, 735 km in Afghanistan (through Herat and Kandahar) and 800 km, via Quetta and Multan, before supplying gas at Fazilka on Pakistan-India border. The project hit a roadblock when Gail (India) Limited decided not to hold more than 10 per cent stake in the project.
The impasse was broken when TurkmenGaz agreed to hold 85 per cent stakes, lessening the risks for participating oil companies of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, with the Gail, Afghan Gas Enterprise of Afghanistan, Inter-State Gas Systems Limited of Pakistan holding 5 per cent shares each.
In November 2014, Gail (India) Limited and its counterparts in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan set up Tapi Ltd, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). In August 2015, the Tapi Steering Committee decided that TurkmenGaz of Turkmenistan would be the leader of the consortium with 51 per cent shareholding in the Tapi Ltd, while the GAIL and its counterparts in Pakistan and Afghanistan would hold equal shares of the remaining 49 per cent.