ISLAMABAD   -   The TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL) is determined to achieve financial close of the multi-billion dollar Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project in start of the year 2020.

“Pakistan is committed to start practical work on its section of the pipeline at earliest and complete it within the stipulated time frame,” a senior official privy to the petroleum sector developments told APP.

He said a high level delegation from Turkmenistan, comprising TPCL Chairman Board of Directors of Muhammetmyrat Amanov, Ambassador Atadjan Movlamov and TPCL Manager (Pakistan Branch) Batyr Berdiyev, recently held a meeting with Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan and discussed different aspects of the project.

The delegation, he said, highlighted the progress achieved on the ‘financing and procurement’ of the pipeline and expressed the resolve to achieve the financial close of the project in early 2020.

He said Turkmenistan had already completed the construction work on its section, while the Afghanistan also performed groundbreaking of the project last year.

In the recent past, the official said, Pakistan had signed the Host Government Agreement (HGA) with Turkmenistan and would lay gas pipeline on its section from Chaman to Multan via Quetta and Dera Ismail Khan.

Under the project, he said, a 56-inch diameter 1,680 kilometers pipeline, having capacity to flow 3.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) gas, would be laid from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India border by the year 2020.

As per the TAPI agreement, Pakistan and India will be provided 1.325 bcfd (billion cubic feet per day) gas each and Afghanistan will be getting the share of 0.5 bcfd gas.

The project is consisted of two phases. In first phase, there will be free flow of gas in the pipeline which will be completed at an estimated cost of $5 to 6 billion, while in second phase compressor stations to be stalled at a cost of $1.9 to 2 billion.

Commenting on progress made on the project so far in Pakistan, he said, Technical Consultant of the project had been appointed and the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) had been completed.