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Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline  

Framework pact for TAPI pipeline inked

Heads of agreements for the proposed gas sales purchase agreement for the 1,680-km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) were signed by partner countries in Ashgbat on Monday. This follows two-day deliberations of TAPI’s steering committee meeting (SCM) in the Turkmenistan capital.

Jitin Prasad, minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, represented India in the meeting, an official statement said.

The project envisages to build 1,680 km of pipeline with a total gas capacity of 90 million cubic metres per day(mmscmd) with funding support from the Asian Development Bank.

The length of pipeline in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan up to 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 two important documents — initialisation of the Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement (GPFA) and the Heads of Agreements for the proposed Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA) — were signed on Monday. 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.

“All stakeholders should recognize that the transit fee for the gas through various countries be kept at minimum. Further, the security issues should be properly addressed and there should be complete clarity on the institutional mechanisms for this. And before taking this project further, the pricing and other GSPA issues should be resolved to the full satisfaction of all partner countries,” Prasada said while outlining the significance of this project in fulfilling the energy needs of India.

The Financial Express, New Delhi, September 21, 2010

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