According to a Pakistani official China is interested in joining Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (TAPI) pipeline project once it starts operating. The project that initiated at the massive Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan involves the energy companies of the four countries. The project is worth $9.6-billion and would provide 33 billion cubic meters (BCM) of gas annually.
In order to explore options in gas exports, Turkeministan started the TAPI gas pipeline project. But due to security issues, financial problems, the project was delayed.
The chief executive officer of Pakistan’s state-owned Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS), Mobin Saulat said that Chinese officials are interested in joining the project and use TAPI line as an alternative to Beijing’s plan of creating a China-to-Turkmenistan fourth pipeline.
Mobin said, “With this channel, there is a possibility they don’t have to do another line and they can off-take from this pipeline which is passing through Pakistan.”
If a China-to-Turkmenistan line is created it will have to pass through Central Asian mountain ranges. Mobin feels that it will be simpler and cheaper if China develops the line inside Pakistan’s territory to cross the mountain ranges and reach the Western border.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a mega-development project between Pakistan and China. China has guaranteed $57 billion in funding as part of its Belt and Road (OBOR) initiative. This exchange of business, culture, ideas has created a strong bond between the two nations.
TAPI project will be done in two phases. In the first one, the pipeline will be set up without compressors. It would cut the gas volume and minimize the project cost.
As soon as the gas starts flowing, money will be generated, and the project will enter its second phase and establish 11 compressors along the 1,814 kilometers TAPI pipeline project.
Saulat said, “With this introduction of the phased approach, it has gained momentum with the Chinese.”