Shri Jitin Prasad, Minister of State (Petroleum & Natural Gas) participated in the Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas pipeline project held at Ashgabat (Turkmenistan). This was attended by Mr. Baymyrat Hojamuhammedov, Deputy Prime Minister, Turkmenistan, Mr. B. Nedirov, Minister of Oil & Gas, Turkmenistan, Mr. Wahidullah Shahrani, Minister of Mining Industry, Afghanistan, Mr. Naveed Qamar, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Resources, Pakistan, with assistance from ADB, the lead partner of the project.
This SCM followed two-day deliberations of the official-level Technical Working Group meeting. The project envisages to build 1680 km of pipeline with a total gas capacity of 90 million cubic metres per day(mmscmd). The length of pipeline in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan & Pakistan upto Indian border is 145 km, 735 km and 800 km respectively. With the completion of TAPI gas pipeline, India would get 38 mmscmd of gas.
India joined this project in April 2008 and today two important documents were signed by the four partner countries: (i) initialization of the Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement(GPFA) and, (ii) signing of the Heads of Agreements for the proposed Gas Sales Purchase Agreement(GSPA).
The Cabinet has already given in-principle approval to the GPFA, however the final signing would be done only after the Cabinet approves this document.
While outlining the significance of this project in fulfilling the energy needs of our country, Mr. Prasada, however, stressed that to make this project successful, all stakeholders should recognize that (i) the Transit Fee for the gas through various countries be kept at minimum, (ii) the security issues be properly addressed & there should be complete clarity on the institutional mechanisms for this, and (iii) before taking this project further, the pricing & other GSPA issues be resolved to the full satisfaction of all partner countries.