In a significant development, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the second Deputy Prime Minister of Afghanistan, has given his approval to initiate the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project to commence through Afghanistan. This green light for TAPI pipeline project, creates opportunities. Baradar, during a meeting with Muhammetmyrat Amanov, the CEO of the TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL), and Hoja Ovezov, the Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, expressed Afghanistan’s readiness to begin the TAPI project and its commitment to collaborate in this area. Recognizing the favorable conditions for project implementation, Baradar emphasized the importance of seizing this opportunity.
The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum has confirmed the commencement of construction on the TAPI pipeline, marking a significant milestone. Additionally, a technical team from Turkmenistan has discussed various aspects of the project, including distribution to industries and residents, as well as power generation from the pipeline. The first phase of the project is set to kick off in Herat.
The implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline holds immense significance for the entire region. The National Transit Committee has approved the transportation of gas and oil from Turkmenistan to Pakistan, passing through Afghanistan. This ambitious project aims to stimulate economic growth and enhance transit capabilities.
Afghanistan alone stands to benefit from the TAPI pipeline, with an estimated $1 billion in transit fees and royalty. The smooth flow of gas and oil from Central Asia to South Asia will lead to a substantial boost in national revenue. Furthermore, the transportation sector will witness development, creating numerous employment opportunities. Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan continue their collaboration, with special representatives from both sides engaging in meetings to strengthen ties. The TAPI pipeline has long been regarded as a monumentally important project, addressing not only Turkmenistan’s limited customer base but also providing much-needed energy resources to South Asia.
First proposed over 30 years ago, in a 1995 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Turkmenistan and Pakistan, the 1,814-kilometer TAPI pipeline is expected to supply approximately 33 billion cubic meters of gas.The pipeline will stretch from the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan to India, passing through Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan before reaching Pakistan. Turkmengas, the state company of Turkmenistan, is the primary contributor to the project, financing $8.5 billion of the total $10 billion cost and managing the TAPI pipeline.
Reports from Pakistani media indicate that Islamabad has received a strategic commitment for strengthens ties from Turkmenistan for the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline. Turkmenistan’s commitment goes beyond Pakistan’s annual budget, emphasizing the significance of the project for all parties involved. The implementation of the TAPI pipeline will not only provide a reliable source of energy but also contribute to economic growth and regional cooperation. It is projected that the project will create thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities, benefiting local communities along the pipeline route. Furthermore, the TAPI pipeline will enhance energy security by diversifying energy sources for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. It will reduce their dependency on traditional energy suppliers and open up new avenues for economic development.
The TAPI pipeline project is committed to upholding environmental standards and ensuring sustainability. Advanced technologies will be employed to minimize the environmental impact, including the implementation of safety measures during construction and operation phases. The project will also contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing cleaner natural gas as an alternative to more polluting energy sources.
The resumption of the TAPI pipeline project in Afghanistan is set to enhance regional cooperation, stimulate economic growth, and create promising prospects for the involved nations. With significant financial and technical support from Turkmenistan, the successful implementation of the TAPI pipeline will provide a reliable and sustainable energy infrastructure, boosting energy security and economic development in the region.
TAPI gas pipeline project holds immense strategic significance, not only for the countries directly involved but also for the broader region. One of the primary strategic advantages of the TAPI pipeline is its contribution to enhancing energy security for the participating nations.Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, being energy-deficient countries, will have access to a reliable and diversified energy source. This reduces their dependence on traditional energy suppliers and mitigates the risks associated with geopolitical uncertainties and supply disruptions.
The successful implementation of the TAPI pipeline promotes regional cooperation and stability. By fostering economic interdependence, the project creates incentives for collaboration and mutual benefit among the participating countries. Through shared interests in energy production, transit, and consumption, stronger diplomatic ties can be forged, leading to increased regional stability and reduced tensions.
The TAPI pipeline project offers an alternative energy route, diversifying the transportation routes and options for Central Asian gas to reach the South Asian market. Currently, most Central Asian gas exports rely on routes passing through Russia or Iran. The TAPI pipeline provides a direct link from Turkmenistan to South Asia, bypassing these traditional routes. This diversification of energy routes reduces the vulnerability of the participating nations to geopolitical influences and enables more efficient energy trade.
The TAPI pipeline project has the potential to stimulate economic growth and development in the participating countries. The construction and operation of the pipeline will generate employment opportunities, both directly and indirectly, in various sectors such as engineering, construction, logistics, and maintenance. The revenue generated from transit fees and royalties will contribute to national budgets, enabling investments in infrastructure, social welfare, and other development projects.
The TAPI pipeline serves as a catalyst for infrastructure connectivity in the region. The pipeline requires the development of associated infrastructure, including storage facilities, compressor stations, and distribution networks. This infrastructure development will not only support the efficient functioning of the pipeline but also create opportunities for the expansion of other economic sectors, such as manufacturing and trade.
The successful implementation of the TAPI pipeline in Afghanistan holds strategic importance for the country’s stability and development. By actively participating in regional energy projects, Afghanistan can strengthen its position as a responsible stakeholder in the region. The revenue generated from transit fees and royalties will contribute to the country’s economic development and provide an incentive for maintaining peace and stability.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project carries significant strategic implications for the participating countries and the wider region. By enhancing energy security, promoting regional cooperation, diversifying energy routes, fostering economic growth, and contributing to infrastructure connectivity, the TAPI pipeline project paves the way for a more stable and prosperous future.
Asma Khan Durrani is an Islamabad-based expert in Strategic Affairs. She is a student of Defence and Strategic Studies. She has done M.Phil. from SPIR Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad. She has also been published internationally. She tweets @AsmaKhan_47 Mailed @ firstname.lastname@example.org