IDB to finance $500m to proposed Tapi gas pipeline

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AMANULLAH KHAN

Karachi

The Islamic Development Bank has agreed to provide $500 million loan to part-finance the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project, backed by the US as part of its Afghan rehabilitation policy and as an alternative to Russian infrastructure for evacuation of Central Asian gas, it is learnt.
According to a report, the project consortium, consisting of state-owned companies from the participating countries is also in talks with Saudi Fund for Development and the Japanese government for partnership. The funding agreement was signed with the Islamic Development Bank last month.
The project is estimated to cost $15 billion and expected to when gas from Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh fields to Pakistan and other participating countries It may be recalled that the much delayed transnational pipeline was formally inaugurated on December 13. Turkmenistan’s national oil company Turkmengaz is the leader of the consortium of national oil companies of the four nations.
It has 85 per cent equity in TAPI Pipeline Co. While Pakistan, India and Afghan Gas Enterprise have 5% stake each in the project. The Asian Development Bank is the transaction advisor and the project is originally envisaged to become operational in 2018 however the current state of relationship among the partner the project is unlikely to meet the deadline.

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