Saturday, May 19, 2012

Union Cabinet approved 7.6 Billion Dollar TAPI Gas Pipeline Project

The Union Cabinet approved the 7.6 billion dollar TAPI gas pipeline project on 17 May 2012. The TAPI gas pipeline project which originates from the central Asian nation Turkmenistan and reaches to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan is also referred to as the “peace pipeline” as some of the countries that it passes through don’t enjoy good relationship with each other.
The TAPI gas project will have a total length of 1680 km. Of the total length 144km will be in Turkmenistan, 735km in Afghanistan, and 800km in Pakistan, bringing it to the India border. The pipeline, will be entirely functional in 2018 and supply gas over the next thirty years.
The pipeline would produce 90 million standard cubic metres of gas per day (mscmd).  Of the total gas pumped through it, India and Pakistan will get 38 mscmd each and Afghanistan the remaining 14 mscmd. At present India requires 176 mscmd of gas, of which a little more than one-sixth is imported. The country’s need of the gas might reach the level of about 400 mscmd by 2020.
The Indian government was pursuing a similar project with the Iran which was put on hold by the Indian government given the pressure from the USA. The TAPI gas project also involves Asian Development Bank which has bestowed financial assistance to the project.
The TAPI pipeline, was proposed in the early 1990s, but was delayed due to the political and economic hurdles involved into the project. Security of the pipeline has been the major issue of concern which passes through some of the most unstabled regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the project may face the risk of sabotage. India joined the project in April 2008.