Fresh ADB study on TAPI pipeline
The study, commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and conducted by British-based consultants Penspen, “serves to speed up the start of realising the plan for a trans-Afghan gas pipeline 1,680 kilometres long” to the Indian city of Fazilka, near the Pakistani-Indian border, Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry said. The study envisages a pipeline measuring 1.4 metres in diameter that would carry 116 billion cubic feet of gas per year, the ministry said.
Construction would cost $3.3 billion. “It is proposed to start construction of the trans-Afghan pipeline upon completion of the legal base of the project in 2006,” the ministry said in a statement.
Critics have cast doubt on the idea, however, due to war-torn Afghanistan’s instability and ongoing tensions between Pakistan and India. India’s participation is seen by many as vital to the project’s economic viability.