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Ryad to Invest in TAPI Gas Pipeline

Wednesday 24 January 2018

ASHGABAT (Satrapia) — Saudi Arabia would make considerable investments in the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, Turkmenistan Deputy Prime Minister Maksat Babayev says.

Babayev, in charge of the fuel and energy sector, told a cabinet meeting the investments would be made in line with agreements reached during the Turkmen president’s visit to the Kingdom in May 2016.

A Baku-based newspaper reported the funds were allocated by the Saudi Development Bank for the TAPI project. The deputy PM, however, did not put a figure on the amount of investments.

Last week, the state-controlled information agency TDH reported President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov had sent a message to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, expressing gratitude for the investments provided. It added the United Arab Emirates was also interested in TAPI investments. A week ago, Turkmen Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Berdyniyaz Myatiyev and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan met in the United Arab Emirates.

On December 20, President Berdymukhammedov also met the Sheikh in Ashgabat. Arab investors have reportedly evinced an interest in the implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline.

Construction work on the gas pipeline is expected to begin in Afghanistan in February. The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) says necessary steps have been taken to implement the project.

The project will transport 33 bln1 m³ of gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India via a 1,814km pipeline. For tits, a consortium — TAPI Pipeline Company Limited — was established and the state concern Turkmengaz was elected as the leader.

The main hurdles to the project’s implementation are financing and security issues. The Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Japanese government have expressed their interest in funding TAPI.

The Islamic Development Bank has already allocated a loan worth $700 mln for Turkmenistan to construct its section.

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