TAPI gas pipeline project to benefit Afghans, hopes ADB
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, carrying 33 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually from Central Asia to South Asia, will originate at the giant Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan.
A UK-based news agency quoted Sean O´Sullivan, ADB’s Central and West Asia director-general, as saying the pipeline could be operational by 2020. He stressed the creation of jobs for Afghans rather than luring foreign contractors to ensure the project’s success.
According to Reuters, project shareholders agreed on Thursday to invest $200 million in studies and engineering for the pipeline, which will be routed through the violence-plagued southern province of Helmand.
"I agree ... we're going through some of the toughest territory in Afghanistan," agreed Sullivan, who acknowledged: "The challenge is there. There´s no doubt about it, but I am sure it´s doable."
The ambitious project would serve as auniquetemplate of regional cooperation, he believed, saying the bank would be able to draw on lessons learnt from other infrastructure projects, like power transmission lines from Uzbekistan to Kabul and a railroad.
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