Agreement for the engineering design of the project was signed by the Afghan Gas Enterprise and Germany’s ILF Company on Tuesday, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.
The acting mines minister, Ghezal Habibyar, said the practical implantation of the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will take three years while the design, management and other tasks of the project will be completed in an additional year.
President Ashraf Ghani, the deputy chief executive Mohammad Mohaqiq, the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) speaker Fazl Hadi Muslimyar and a number of foreign officials attended at the signing ceremony which was held at the Presidential Palace.
He added: “The first phase of the project – which includes the security of the project, agreements, design, social and environmental study, demining, a survey of the pipeline’s route and expropriation will be completed in one year.” The two phases will take four years.
The pipeline will 1,735 kilometers long and has the capacity of transferring 33 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India through Herat, Farah, Helmand and Nimroz provinces of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan will earn $400 million USD per year from the pipeline, he added.
“The pipeline will change Afghanistan into a transit hub for Central Asia. It will be an important economic corridor for Afghanistan because other projects like a power transmission project, a railway project, industrial parts and an optic fiber project will be built along the TAPI pipeline route,” Habibyar added.
Meanwhile, Turkmenistan’s Murad Amanov, CEO of the TAPI project, said the project is of great importance to the Turkmen president.
Amanov said the project will help improve his country’s economy as it is one of the biggest economic projects in the country. The design documents and initial work for the project have been completed and Turkmenistan is fully committed to its implementation.