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China Wants to Join TAPI Gas Pipeline

09 Aug 2018 Did Press Agency

China has shown growing interest in building a spur from Pakistan’s territory once the multi-country TAPI natural gas pipeline project begins operating.

China has shown growing interest in building a spur from Pakistan’s territory once the multi-country TAPI natural gas pipeline project begins operating.

Originating at the giant Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan, the $9.6 billion TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) pipeline involves the four countries’ own energy companies, and would carry 33 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year.

Turkmenistan is building the TAPI pipeline to diversify its gas exports, which have mostly gone to China. But the project has suffered lengthy delays due to financial problems and the security risks of building a pipeline through Afghanistan.

Mobin Saulat, the chief executive officer of Pakistan’s state-owned Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS), told Reuters that Chinese officials have shown growing interest in building a spur from Pakistan and the line could act as an alternative to Beijing’s plans to build a fourth China-to-Turkmenistan pipeline.

“With this channel, there is a possibility they don’t have to do another line and they can off-take from this pipeline which is passing through Pakistan,” Saulat said.

China’s ties to Islamabad have deepened in recent years as Beijing has pledged to fund $57 billion in infrastructure as part of its Belt and Road initiative, including power stations and transport links.

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