The FINANCIAL — The shareholders of TAPI Pipeline Company Limited have signed the Shareholders Agreement at a groundbreaking ceremony here to commemorate the beginning of construction of the Turkmen portion of the planned 1,800 km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project.
The activities at the groundbreaking ceremony on 13 December 2015 were led by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan, Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India. Each of the four leaders see the TAPI pipeline as more than just a conduit of natural gas but as a vital means to improve connectivity. All of them gave assurances of their continued strong commitment to the project, according to ADB.
“This groundbreaking marks a new chapter in regional economic cooperation,” said Sean O’Sullivan, Director General of ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “The TAPI pipeline is a true game changer, an historic undertaking that will address the energy needs of the region and contribute to development, peace, security and in turn prosperity.”
The Shareholders Agreement contains the principles agreed among the shareholders regarding the management and operation of TAPI Pipeline Company Limited and the transfer of shares. The signing follows the endorsement of State Concern “Turkmengas” as consortium leader of the TAPI pipeline, as the parties prepare to commence the next phase of detailed design.
TAPI Pipeline Company Limited will build, own and operate the TAPI pipeline. Once completed, it is expected to export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India over 3 decades.
ADB has been a strong supporter of the TAPI pipeline from the outset. ADB has acted as TAPI Secretariat since 2003 and as Transaction Advisor since 2013. As the TAPI pipeline moves into the next phase, ADB is ready and willing to continue providing support.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.