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GAIL to take 5pc stake in Consortium building TAPI pipeline

Consortium building

State-owned GAIL India Ltd will take a 5 per cent stake in the international consortium building the $8.7-billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

The four nations building the pipeline had in August agreed to co-own the project and a joint venture company with participation of each country was to be set up to build and operate the 1,814-kilometre line.

“Turkmenistan’s state-owned TurkmenGaz will be the leader of the consortium and shall take 85 per cent equity. India will be represented by GAIL which will take a 5 per cent interest,” a senior government official said.

ISGS of Pakistan and Afghan Gas Enterprise (AGE) will also take a 5 per cent stake each.

The TAPI pipeline will have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas for 30 years and is planned to become operational in 2018. India and Pakistan were originally to get 38 mmscmd each while the remaining 14 mmscmd was to be supplied to Afghanistan.

But Kabul is now willing to take only 1.5-4 mmscmd so the share of India and Pakistan will go up to 43-44.25 mmscmd each, he said.

TAPI will carry gas from Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh field, better known by its previous name South Yolotan Osman, that holds gas reserves of 16 trillion cubic feet.

From the field, the pipeline will run to Herat and Kandahar province of Afghanistan, before entering Pakistan. In Pakistan, it will reach Multan via Quetta before ending at Fazilka (Punjab) in India.

Turkmenistan on December 13 began work on the 214 km section of the pipeline in its territory. The pipeline will travel 773 km in Afghanistan and 827 km in Pakistan before touching Indian border.

For the security of the pipeline, the official said an inter-government Joint Security Task Force (JSTF) will be raised which will serve as nucleus of the security programme.

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