TAPI project-a feather in government's cap: Minister

ISLAMABAD : Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India(TAPI) project with capacity of 3.2 billion cubic feet gas per annum would complete in four years.

Briefing media persons here, the minister said the government was proud of the achievement as the ambitious project lingered on for the last 25 years, but now things had started going in smooth order and first gas flow was planned by December 2019, he added.

He said TAPI Pipeline Company Limited(TPCL) would develop the gas wells and lay a 56-inch diameter 1680 Km-long pipeline from supply source at Gylkynish and adjacent gas fields, sneaking through Heart-Kandahar-Chamman-Zhob-DG Khan-Multan and Fazilika-Pakistan-India border.

The Minister said Pakistan had been selected as chairman of the company’s board with having five percent shareholding like India and Afghanistan. In August, 2015 breakthrough was achieved when Turkmenistan proposed its self as consortium leader.

Out of total gas volume, Afghanistan would get 500 mmcfd and Pakistan, India each 1,325 mmcfd, however, the minister added either Pakistan or India could purchase more gas if Afghanistan wanted to provide the natural gas out of its total share.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the gas would be cheapest in terms of its price, adding Bangladesh had also expressed willingness to be part of the project.

Answering a question about the security of the pipeline, the minister said each component country of the project was responsible for provision of security of the pipeline in their respective land.

These countries would have to bear security cost out of royalty or transit fee as each country would have to pay transit fee to other country of the project he added.

The Minster said Pakistan would provide around $200 million per annum to Afghanistan and similarly India would pay the same amount to Pakistan in royalty or transit fee. But currently, the minister said the tripartite transit agreement negotiations between Afghanistan-Pakistan-India were continuing.

Out of total gas of the project, the minister said 25 percent of gas would be fed to Sui Southern Gas Company(SSGC) and 75 percent to Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Company Limited(SNGPL) to inject it in their systems.

The minister was of the view TAPI project was the best manifestation of the government’s efforts to bridge supply and demand gap which had rose to around 2 bcfd.

Answering a question, he said TAPI volume would overcome almost 70 percent of the current gas shortfall and would save almost US$1 billion per year by replacing liquefied fuels for power generation. Answering another question, he said PSO would float tender to import 60 more LNG cargos, which would help augment supplies for peak winter seasons.

Regarding low gas pressure issues, the minister said the law had expired which prevented people from sucking gas by machines from system and Ministry would soon table the law again before the parliament to regain life.



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