Pres­i­dent Zar­dari to ink his­toric TAPI agree­ment at Ashkhabad

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

IS­LAM­ABAD: Pres­i­dent Asif Ali Zar­dari will join heads of state of Turk­menistan and Afghanistan at Ashkhabad on Dec. 11 to ink around US $7.6 bil­lion gas pipe­line project to fuel its in­dus­tries.

The 1640-km long Turk­menistan-AfghanistanPak­istan-In­dia (TAPI) pipe­line will pass through the volatile Afghan ter­ri­tory to link with Pak­istan's na­tional gas net­work near Mul­tan and ter­mi­nate at Fazilka in In­dia.

In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh is not likely to at­tend the sign­ing of the "in­ter-gov­ern­men­tal agree­ment" as he has left on a three­day visit to Bel­gium to par­tic­i­pate in the In­dia-EU sum­mit, diplo­matic sources said. In­dian Petroleum Min­is­ter Murli De­ora is likely to lead the In­dian del­e­ga­tion.

The project con­ceived in 1995 was ini­tially de­signed to pro­vide gas from Turk­menistan to Pak­istan, through Afghanistan. How­ever, In­dia was later in­vited to join the project in 2008.

Pres­i­dent Zar­dari will also hold bi­lat­eral meet­ings with Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai and Turk­men Pres­i­dent Gur­ban­guly Berdimuhame­dov and dis­cuss fur­ther strength­en­ing of ties in all spheres.

Min­is­ter for Petroleum and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Naveed Qa­mar will ink an agree­ment on Gas Pipe­line Frame­work Agree­ment (GPFA) at Ashkhabad on Dec. 10 (to­day) that has al­ready been ap­proved by the fed­eral cabi­net.

Un­der the project Pak­istan will get 30 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters of gas an­nu­ally and has also in­di­cated that in case In­dia backs out at any stage, it will be will­ing to pur­chase the ad­di­tional gas.

Turk­menistan has the world's fourth largest proven re­serves of gas and is al­ready pro­vid­ing gas to Rus­sia and China. Fol­low­ing the ink­ing in­ter­na­tional bids will be sought from en­ergy com­pa­nies to launch the project that is likely to be com­pleted by 2014. Ashkhabad is likely to in­clude "South­ern YolotenOs­man" gas fields in ad­di­tion to the Dovletabad fields in the project to en­sure reg­u­lar sup­ply. Pak­istan is likely to of­fer as­sis­tance in the devel­op­ment of these gas fields. - PB News

BRUS­SELS: Lux­em­bourg Prime Min­is­ter and Eurogroup pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker, Bel­gian Fi­nance Min­ster Didier Reyn­ders, In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Do­minique Strauss-Kahn talk prior to an Eurogroupe coun­cil at the EU head­quar­ters in Brus­sels. -Reuters

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