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India-bound gas pipeline TAPI breaks ground on Afghan section

Staff Writer | February 24, 2018
Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India on Friday ceremonially broke ground on the Afghan section of an ambitious, multi-billion dollar gas pipeline expected to help ease energy deficits in South Asia.
pipeline TAPI
Energy   A multi-billion dollar gas pipeline
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov joined Pakistani premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India’s minister of state for external affairs Shri M. J. Akbar for the ceremony at gas-rich Turkmenistan’s border with Afghanistan.

Dignitaries including diplomats from the foreign missions in Turkmenistan were greeted by Turkmen national songs and traditional nomadic tents serving up food on an overcast day at the border post of Serkhetabat, once the southernmost tip of the Soviet Union.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ghani said the pipeline would “unite (the) countries” in quotes translated into Russian for reporters at the ceremony.

“There were pessimistic voices, but now we are witnessing the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline,” said Ghani, using the acronym for the conduit which takes its name from the four countries.

The quartet aims to complete the 1,840-kilometre (1,143-mile) pipeline and begin pumping natural gas from Turkmenistan’s giant Galkynysh gas field by the beginning of 2020.

While the pipeline will traverse war-wracked Afghanistan, raising security concerns, the bulk of the 33 billion cubic metres of gas to be pumped annually through the conduit will be purchased by South Asian rivals Pakistan and India.


 

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