ADB supports execution of TAPI gas project


KABUL (PAN): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday renewed its long-term commitment to Afghanistan’s economic development beyond 2014, when all combat troops are scheduled to leave the country.

“The transformation decade is a challenging yet rewarding period for Afghanistan to stand on its own feet through engaging in infrastructure development and supporting regional cooperation,” said ADB Country Director Joji Tokeshi.

Increasing demand for energy to fuel economic growth and efforts to strengthen regional energy trade and cooperation had gained momentum, the ADB said, referring to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Natural Gas Pipeline (TAPI) Project.

The 1,800 km pipeline aims to export up to 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It ensures energy security through balanced development of regional infrastructure and institutions, stronger integration of markets and economic growth through enhanced energy trading.

TAPI presented an opportunity for regional cooperation at an unprecedented scale, linking the economies of the four countries, a statement from ADB said.

Afghanistan and Turkmenistan recently signed the contract on sales and purchase of gas under the TAPI gas pipeline project, which will have duration of 30 years.

TAPI is Afghanistan’s most critical regional project. The gas pipeline traverses several provinces through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has acted as the TAPI Secretariat since 2002, will continue to play a leading role in coordinating and facilitating the implementation of the project.

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