Ashraf Ghani arrives in Ashgabat for TAPI project groundbreaking
ASHGABAT: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, at the head of a high-level delegation, on Saturday arrived in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the long-awaited Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project
The president was warmly received by Turkmen officials and Afghan diplomatic mission at the airport, a statement from the Presidential Palace said.
The president during his two days official visit would address a conference on peace, security and development to be attended by delegates from other countries.
Ghani will join the three other partner states to consider forming a multinational security force to guard the $10 billion TAPI gas pipeline project against terrorist attacks as they meet in Ashgabat for the ground-breaking ceremony.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and India’s Vice President would consider two proposals for the security of the 1,800km pipeline
Besides taking part in the opening ceremony of the construction work of TAPI project, President Ghani will also participate in the conference organized on neutral policies of international cooperation on peace, security and development in Ashgabat.
The President is accompanied by his Adviser Hamayoun Qayoumi, Ministers Eklil Hakimi, Dawoud Shah Saba, Ali Ahmad Osmani, Mohammad Hamayoun Rasa, Asadullah Zamir and other government officials, governors of Herat and Farayab provinces and Presidential Adviser on Middle East affairs.
The project is scheduled to begin by Turkmenistan state-run gas company Turkmengaz, which was named project consortium leader for TAPI Pipeline Company Limited in August, and energy infrastructure construction division Turkmenneftegazstroi in December.
The $10 billion gas pipeline supported by the United States and the Asian Development Bank is designed to transport 33 billion cubic meters of gas annually for a period of three decades to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
The construction of the pipeline with a length of 1,735 kilometers (1,084 mile) is expected to complete by the end of December 2018 and last for 30 years.
The pipeline will run more than 700 km across Afghanistan on its way to Pakistan and India which would be filled with gas from Turkmenistan’s mammoth Galkynysh field, the world’s second-largest reservoir of natural gas.
The project will create job opportunities for tens of thousands of Afghanistan and will receive millions of dollars every year as the transit.