An important aspect of Turkmenistan's energy strategy is the expansion of the geography of export routes for the supply of Turkmen energy to world markets, including through the creation of a multivariate transport infrastructure. In this area, large investment projects are being implemented; among them the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline (TAPI) occupies a special place.
In 2010 the TAPI project got in the active phase by signing in Ashgabat a four-party intergovernmental agreement on this project. Then, from 2012 to 2016, the legal framework of the project was coherently refilled by the Agreements for the purchase and sale of natural gas with all buyers, joint-stock and investment agreements.
In 2013, the Governments of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India designated their state-owned gas companies to promote and invest in the TAPI project.
The project includes comprehensive works on the design, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance of the 1840 km pipeline from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It is envisaged that after full commissioning of TAPI, that within 30 years up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year will be exported.
This project can clearly be reckoned among a small number of international projects. It will have a stimulating effect on the sustainable development, social and economic growth of the countries of the region and will ensure their energy security. These factors, in turn, are the "pillars" on which the modern architecture of the energy space is held.
In a relatively short period of time, significant progress has been achieved in the implementation of the TAPI project on key agreements such as the Agreement with Host Governments and the Agreement on the Transport of Natural Gas. A great impulse for the promotion of the project was given by the establishment of the consortium "TAPI Pipeline Company Limited" and subsequently the election of the State Concern "Turkmengas" as the leader of this consortium.
Start of construction of TAPI was given in December 2015 in Mary region. Presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, high-ranking representatives of India and Pakistan took part in the solemn ceremony on the welding of the first joint symbolic "golden link" of the new gas transportation artery. The laying of the 214-kilometer section of the gas pipeline in the territory of our country is carried out by the State Concern “Turkmengas”, and it is planned to complete all works at the end of 2018.
In October 2016, to finance the construction of the Turkmen part of the TAPI gas pipeline the Agreement of the Government of Turkmenistan with the Islamic Development Bank was signed. The document provides for the allocation of a credit in the amount of 700 million US dollars.
In November 2017, in Riyadh, the regular meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Saudi Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation with the participation of industry and energy leaders, as well as large companies of Saudi Arabia was held. During the meeting, issues of trade, economic and investment cooperation, including in the fuel and energy sector, were discussed, specific in several areas agreements were reached. In particular, the State Concern “Turkmengas” has signed an agreement with the Global Pipe Company for the delivery in 2018 of a large batch of pipe products intended for the construction of TAPI.
The resource base of TAPI at the initial stage will be the super huge gas field "Galkynysh". As part of the development of this field, the State Concern “Turkmengas” together with its foreign partners is doing a great job, aimed to provide "blue fuel" for TAPI at a high level.
At the negotiation stage there are agreements on the project, which will be concluded with governments and state counterparts. Among them, the most important is the Agreement with the Governments of the host countries.
The tender process for the selection of contractors for detailed road surveys on the pipeline route has been completed. Key surveys, such as environmental and social impact assessment, and the development of a land allocation plan are already under implementation in the Afghan and Pakistani areas.
Preliminary design for the gas pipeline and all stations, which is better known as Front-End Engineering & Design, has been completed. The tender process of selection suppliers of equipment for long-term production - as a main pipe and large valves, as well as contractors for the construction of a linear part and stations for various purposes has been started.
Draft contracts, which will be concluded as a result of tenders, have been prepared. We do not expect long negotiations because the proposed contract scheme has been repeatedly accepted by the market and demonstrated its effectiveness and balance of interests of the parties. And last but not least, this is the fact that a team of advisers from the companies - world leaders in their field has been assembled.
It should be noted that Turkmenistan is the locomotive of the promotion of this project. Thanks to the initiative and personal guidance of the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the project has reached the current stage of development, namely, over the past few years it has been transformed from the concept into reality.
As President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized, in addition to the economic development of the region and the solution of vital social issues, the implementation of the TAPI project would help to strengthen peace and stability in the region.