Turkmenistan and Pakistan have officially signed a Joint Implementation Plan (JIP) in Islamabad aiming to accelerate progress on the TAPI Gas Pipeline project. The signing ceremony involved Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik representing Pakistan and Maksat Babayev, State Minister and Head of TurkmenGaz, representing Turkmenistan. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, senior cabinet officials, and representatives from the Petroleum Division and Inter State Gas Systems (Pvt) Ltd witnessed the signing.
The agreement was reached following a two-day visit to Pakistan by a high- ranking delegation from Turkmenistan, led by Maksat Babayev, along with Deputy Minister of Energy Annageldi Saparov, CEO and Chairman of BOD, TPCL, Muhammetmyrat Amanov, and Turkmen Ambassador to Pakistan, Atadjan Movlamov.
The JIP includes the establishment of a Senior Coordination Committee (SCC) responsible for overseeing and expediting project activities. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif nominated Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Jehanzeb Khan as the head of the SCC, representing Pakistan.
Furthermore, the Government of Pakistan extended an invitation to Turkmenistan to explore the possibility of gas connectivity from the Chaman border to Gwadar, as well as the construction of LNG terminals at Gwadar, which would enhance gas supplies to Europe and global LNG markets.
The TAPI gas pipeline project aims to transport natural gas from the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan. Over a 30-year period, the pipeline will deliver up to 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) or an average of 3.2 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD) of natural gas. The Galkynysh gas field in eastern Turkmenistan serves as the primary source, with Pakistan receiving an off-take of 1.3 BCFD through a 56-inch diameter pipeline. The proposed route spans from the supply source, passing through Herat, Kandahar, Chamman, Zhob, DG Khan, Multan, and Fazilika, covering a pipeline length of 1,849 kilometers.
During the Turkmen delegation’s interactions in Pakistan, there was a sense of mutual goodwill, understanding, cooperation, and friendship. The Turkmen delegation expressed sincere gratitude for the warm hospitality received from their Pakistani “brothers” and expressed optimism that bilateral ties between the two nations would continue to expand across various sectors.
The TAPI project holds significant transformative potential for Pakistan’s energy security, as it will provide cost-effective gas supplies that can enhance the competitiveness of the country’s industrial sector on a global scale and create extensive employment opportunities for its youth. Pakistan remains committed to the TAPI gas pipeline project, considering it crucial for addressing emerging energy challenges and as a demonstration of meaningful commercial and energy cooperation between Pakistan and Central Asia.