FILE: Officials of Turkmenistan (left), Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India respectively are the involved nations in TAPI pipeline project.

KABUL, Afghanistan – The practical work on the TAPI Pipeline project will resume within four months, according to Afghan official, weeks after the involved countries showed interest in retaking the project for completion.

Esmatullah Burhan, spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP), said on Thursday that land acquisition was an obstacle that has delayed the implementation of the project so far, saying now the project is ready to be retaken for completion.

“There is no problem about the procedure. Around 15 percent of the procedure remains–which is a technical process that will be solved soon,” he said, as local media quoted.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Ministry of Economy (MoE) Habib Rahman exclaims the project will help in overall development of the country, saying “the TAPI project is considered one of the important projects to boost the economy.”

“The implementation of this project will cause further political and security cooperation in the region, particularly among these four countries,” he said.

Earlier this month, the Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansour Ahmad Khan said the countries involved in the TAPI Pipeline want to move forward, exclaiming the security tensions are eased to resume the project.  

The Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline, also known as Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, is a natural gas pipeline being developed by the Galkynysh – TAPI Pipeline Company Limited with participation of the Asian Development Bank.

The pipeline will transport natural gas from the Galkynysh Gas Field in Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India. Proponents of the project see it as a modern continuation of the Silk Road.

The pipeline will be 1,420 mm (56 in) in diameter with a working pressure of 100 atm (10,000 kPa). The capacity will be 33×109 m3 (1.2×1012 cu ft) of natural gas per year of which 5×109 m3 (180×109 cu ft) will be provided to Afghanistan and 14×109 m3 (490×109 cu ft) to each Pakistan and India. Six compressor stations would be constructed along the pipeline.

Construction on the project started in Turkmenistan on 13 December 2015, work on the Afghan section began in February 2018, and work on the Pakistani section was planned to commence in December 2018.

The pipeline was intended to be operational by 2019. But due to underlying conditions, including regional conflicts, the project has been delayed over time and now the involved countries show willingness to complete the project.

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