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    Firm to execute TAPI pipeline project

    KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Turkmenistan have agreed on creating an autonomous company by September this year for the execution of a long-delayed pipeline project, a media report said.

    Petroleum and energy ministers of the four nations agreed to form the firm to implement the ambitious plan, the Hindu newspaper reported. The strategic TAPI pipeline will transport gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

    Appointed as legal-technical consultant, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will soon identify a firm which will drive the project. The company would be from a neutral country, the daily quoted sources in the Indian petroleum ministry as saying.

    The Dubai-based TAPI Ltd, set up by the Indian government, will find a consortium leader to build and operate the project, arrange finances. With an initial contribution of $20 million, $5 million from each of the four countries, the firm will be responsible for the safe delivery of gas through the pipeline.

    The Deccan Herald quoted Indian Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily as saying the pipeline would be completed by 2017. “Turkmenistan has agreed to consider the request of giving a stake in the gas field (that will feed TAPI pipeline).”

    PAN Monitor/mud