The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project has been turning into reality after four nations have cleared the way for initial investment. The project will cost $10-billion after its completion and the agreement will cover the cost of a feasibility study and will mark the route of the pipeline through Afghanistan. Earlier in December last year, the leaders of the four countries participated in the groundbreaking of the project which will ensure availability of major source of fuel for the industries in South Asian countries. Experts hope that the pipeline project will not only enhance close economic cooperation between the countries in the region but will also ensure political stability in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. The South Asian region,a home of 1.5 billion people, has been facing religious terrorism and political conflicts, for the last many years and the economic cooperation within the countries will guarantee peace and prosperity for every nation.
In order to materialize the gas pipeline project, the representatives of four countries have already registered a company of which 85 percent share will be held by Turkmenistan and the rest will be equally distributed among Pakistan, India Afghanistan. According to estimates, at least $200 million initial investment is required to start work. Pakistan has been facing energy crisis for many decades and the proposed gas pipeline project will help operate the wheel of industry in the country. Apart from the Tapi gas pipeline project, the government is already working on two other gas pipeline projects — Pak, Iran gas pipeline and a liquefied natural gas pipeline from Gwadar– to ensure availability of four billion cubic feet of gas per day in the country. According to newspaper reports, the Turkmenistan government will invest around $25 billion to supply around 3.2 bcfd of gas to three energy-starved countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and India for 25 years starting from December 2019.
At least $15 billion will be spent on the development of gas fields whereas $10 billion will be spent on laying a 1,680km-long pipeline. It is a good omen that the partner countries have already devised a price mechanism in 2013 on the basis of the current rate of crude oil. The gas will cost around $3.2 per million British thermal units, which will be increased to $6.5 per unit after the payment of tolling tariff and transit fee. It will take three years to complete the project. Energy is the basic requirement for industry and the project has been initiated at a crucial time when a race for economic development is going on in all parts of the world.