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Turkmenistan begins work on TAPI project

Turkmenistan begins work on TAPI project
Highlights

Turkmenistan on Sunday started work on its part of a natural gas pipeline to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI), a $10 billion project designed to reduce its dependence on gas sales to Russia and China.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Malikgulyyevich Berdimuhamedov, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif press buttons for initiating welding process during the signing ceremony of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project at Mary in Turkmenistan on SundayMary, Turkmenistan : Turkmenistan on Sunday started work on its part of a natural gas pipeline to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI), a $10 billion project designed to reduce its dependence on gas sales to Russia and China.

To complete gas pipeline by Dec 2019

The ground-breaking ceremony took place near the city of Mary in the southeastern part of the central Asian country, close to the giant Galkynysh gas field which is meant to provide gas for the 1,814-kilometre (1,127-mile) link.

"By December 2019, the pipeline will be completed. It will have a capacity of 33 billion cubic metres," Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said at the ceremony also attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari.

Although it is backed by hydrocarbon resources, the TAPI project faces several risks, such as the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and lack of clarity about its financing.

TAPI's construction is led by state gas firm Turkmengas and none of global energy majors have so far committed to the project that will cost as much as a third of Turkmenistan's total 2016 budget.

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