ISLAMABAD: Turkmenistan is said to have approached Washington for relaxation of sanctions on Afghanistan for financing of much talked about TAPI (Turkmenistan- Afghanistan- Pakistan- India) project, sources close to Secretary Petroleum told Business Recorder.
This update was shared by Muhammetmyrat Amanov, Chief Executive of TAPI Pipeline Company Ltd with visiting Pakistani delegation led by Major General Tabassum Habib, Director General, Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), sources added.
A delegation from Pakistan visited Ashgabat to attend the 28th Oil Gas of Turkmenistan 2023 International Conference and Expo held on 25-27 October 2023.
The delegation included officials from Petroleum Division. On the sidelines of the conference, the Pakistani delegation held meetings with key officials of oil, gas and power sectors of Turkmenistan.
The Pakistan delegation held a meeting with Turkmen oil and gas delegation on October 26, 2023 led by the Deputy Chairman of Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan (equivalent to Federal Minister in Pakistan) in charge of Oil & Gas Batyr Amanov. Ashirguly Begliev, Advisor to the President of Turkmenistan on Oil and Gas also attended the meeting.
The Minister welcomed the Pakistani delegation and referred to the decades old engagement between the two countries in the energy sector.
He termed TAPI Gas Pipeline Project as the centrepiece of this cooperation and expressed satisfaction at the fact that the two countries signed Joint Implementation Plan for TAPI project in Pakistan in June this year.
Major General Habib thanked the Turkmen side for the generous hospitality extended to Pakistani delegation. He also briefed the Turkmen side on the purpose and functioning of SIFC as a ‘single-window platform’ to facilitate potential investors and improve ease of doing business in Pakistan through a ‘Whole of Government Approach’.
He noted that SIFC had identified four priority sectors, namely Energy, Information Technology, Agriculture, and Minerals for investment by international partners. The Turkmen Minister welcomed the formation of SIFC and its interest in cooperation with Turkmenistan. He also appreciated the expedited work in Pakistan on implementation of the TAPI project.
The sources said, referring to TAPI project, Major General Habib mentioned that progress on it was regularly assessed in the meetings of SIFC. He expressed the strong resolve of the Government of Pakistan to work on implementation of the project on Pakistan’s part within the timelines set.
He underlined that Pakistan has fast tracked actions on its side and the Host Government Agreement (HGA) would be ready by November 15, 2023.
He enquired about the Turkmen side’s capacity to start delivery of gas to Pakistan and enquired about the financing options for the project and possible difficulties for the project in Afghanistan including security. He also enquired about the possibility of extending LNG delivery to Gwadar Port for onward export to Europe.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023