Ministry of Mines and Petroleum says some stages are still to be completed in order to start construction of the pipeline.
Construction Of TAPI Could Be Delayed
Officials from the Ministry of Mines said practical work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project might be delayed as 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.
The project will be completed by 2019, according to President Ashraf Ghani’s Office.
The project is implemented by the TAPI Limited Company – a group of firms from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan including Afghan Gas Enterprise, Turkmen Gas State Company, and two private companies from Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s Share From TAPI
Afghanistan is expected to earn more than $400 million USD in transit duties annually from the project.
According to President Ghani’s Office, the project will create thousands of job opportunities for Afghans.
Afghanistan will annually get 500 million cubic meters of gas from the project in the first ten years. The amount will increase to one billion cubic meters of gas in the following ten years and 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas in the third 10 years after the completion of the project.
Other Projects Included In TAPI
The TAPI project was recently changed into a collective of other projects which will be implemented alongside this key initiative for Afghanistan.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan 500 kilovolts Line (TAP-500) will transfer Turkmenistan’s electricity to Pakistan through Afghanistan.
According to President Ghani’s Office, Afghanistan is expected to earn $110 million USD annually from the TAP project.
During this period, three substations of power will be established in Herat, Farah and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan.
An optic fiber will also connect regional and neighboring countries under the TAPI project, President Ghani’s Office said.
Another major part of the project is the national and regional railway which connects Pakistan and Turkmenistan through Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the 13-kilometer railway of Torghundi Port of Afghanistan will be reconstructed by Turkmenistan. This project will cost $10.5 million USD.