Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal has said Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) will help Pakistan in overcoming its energy crisis. Speaking in a state-run Radio programme, he said: "This groundbreaking ceremony of Tapi project is scheduled on December 13 and the Prime Minister will visit Turkmenistan to attend this ceremony."
He said, "Turkmenistan has vast reserves of natural gas and this project will enable Pakistan to reduce its energy crisis by utilising these natural resources. This project will also benefit all member states; Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Afghanistan is responsible for the security of this pipeline on its land because it receives 500 million dollars in this regards. This project will provide cheap gas to Pakistan and India."
Spokesperson to Prime Minister Dr Musadik Malik said: "Tapi gas pipeline will cross Afghanistan and it will receive passage fee and also use gas on cheaper rates. This project will be completed in 2017 and would help Pakistan to overcome energy crisis.
Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has done a great job and finalised the deal with Qatar to import LNG. These projects will fulfil our domestic and commercial needs. This project will also link India and it will pay passage fee to Pakistan. This project will also help in maintaining peaceful relation between Pakistan and India."
Economist Mirza Ikhtiyar Baig said: "The Pak-Iran gas pipeline and the Tapi gas pipeline projects are quite necessary to wipe out energy outage from Pakistan. Pakistan has also finalised a deal with Qatar to import LNG, which will also help us to resolve energy crisis from the country.
Around 1,700 kilometres pipeline will be laid down under this project, which after completion will provide 33 billion cubic meters gas per year to Pakistan. Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are the parties in the Tapi gas pipeline project. The peace in Afghanistan is vital for the smooth completion of this project. This project will be completed in 2018 and will help to fulfil our domestic and commercial needs. This project will impact positively on our economy and also provide job opportunities to youth."
Focal person, Tapi Project Syed Touqeer Shah said: "The Prime Minister will attend the ground breaking ceremony of Tapi project in Turkmenistan. Pakistan will get gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and this pipeline will further reach in India. A high level delegation will also accompany the PM in this visit. The pipeline will cross Pakistan from Chaman, Zhob, Quetta, DG Khan and Multan. A special steering committee comprised ministers of all countries has also been formed to overview this project. Security issues will also be addressed by this committee and also set other modalities of the Tapi project."
Economist Dr Shahid Hassan Siddiqui said: "Pakistan was facing energy problems when the incumbent government took the charge. The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline agreement was intact but no practical progress was made because of the United States sanctions on Iran.
Now, the multinational gas project is going to takeoff on Sunday, which is a good sign. Pakistan will take dual benefit from this project; it will reduce energy crisis as well as take revenue from India to use our land as passage of this pipeline. This project was delayed due to poor law and order conditions of the Afghanistan and Tribal areas of Pakistan."
Energy expert Rashid Aziz said: "It is a great development going to take place, which will benefit the entire region. Central Asian Republics have rich natural resources but land locked these countries need trade route, which can provide them opportunity to connect with outer world. Tapi will provide them a breathing space in its own right. It is a breakthrough in the energy history of Pakistan. In the coming decade or so, Pakistan will need massive energy resources and Tapi along with couple of other projects can be helpful to meet deficit in energy. It is positive sign that the government has started taking in time care of Tapi like projects. However, the stability in Afghanistan is imperative for materialisation of Tapi project."
Managing Director, Inter-State Gas Company Mubeen Sulat said: "Tapi as a project was in the pipeline for consideration since decades and its groundbreaking would be held on December 13. It is not just an energy project but it also carries substantial strategic importance. The successful completion of Tapi is paramount for regional connectivity. Our increasing energy demands necessitate a timely energy supply and Tapi can prove helpful to meet those demands. Tapi is expected to meet almost 50 percent of our energy demands in coming 20 years."