Turkmenistan has assured Pakistan that it will remove concerns about the gas price and delivery point associated with the proposed transnational gas pipeline project, according to the Pakistani Newspaper the News.
According to the delegation of Turkmenistan, Pakistan's concerns will be duly taken into account in the relevant agreements. Negotiations on the gas price of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline will begin as soon as the COVID-19 situation improves around the world, the delegation said during a meeting with Pakistani officials in Islamabad on Friday.
The Pakistani side was represented by Nadim Babar, special assistant to the Prime Minister for oil, and the Turkmen side was represented by Muhammetmyrat Amanov, chief Executive officer and Chairman of the Board of “TAPI Pipeline Company Ltd”. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan Atajan Movlamov.
The TAPI project, dubbed the "peace pipeline", will deliver natural gas from the “Galkynysh” and adjacent gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
The Asian Development Bank acts as an intermediary and coordinator for the TAPI gas pipeline project, which began construction in December 2015. The total length of the pipeline will be more than 1.8 kilometers, with a capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Officials from Turkmenistan and Pakistan discussed issues related to price and delivery location and agreed to complete construction work related to the proposed project. They also expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the TAPI pipeline company, despite the difficult situation with the coronavirus.
The Turkmen side stated that their negotiations with international credit agencies and export credit agencies are going well. They appreciated the support provided by the Pakistani authorities for the timely completion of the main stages and the rapid progress of the project to meet Pakistan's growing energy needs.
The delegation of Turkmenistan stated that it intends to start construction work from the Turkmen-Afghan border to the Herat gas extraction point in Afghanistan.
"The start of construction work in Afghanistan will significantly increase the confidence of international investors in investing in the project," the official statement of the Pakistani side said. "Pakistan is very interested in restoring the international gas infrastructure in Afghanistan and providing full support at all levels to start such development activities in Afghanistan."
The Pakistani side expressed its readiness to finalize this issue in order to start real construction work in Pakistan in parallel with Afghanistan. Both sides also agreed to finalize the agreement with the host government by the end of this year. Pakistani officials have said they would like to conduct a TAPI breakthrough as soon as possible after resolving outstanding issues.