TAPI Pipeline gets going

Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and leaders from Turkmenistan and Afghanistan broke ground on Sunday for the ambitious $7.6 billion TAPI (named for the four countries) pipeline project that will provide energy-hungry India gas to run its power plants.
Ansari flew to the ancient city of Mary , 311 km from the capital Ashgabat, which was part of the old Silk Route, to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the 1,800 km-long pipeline. Afghan and Turkmenistan presidents Ashraf Ghani and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow were also present.
The leaders pushed a button to start off the pipewelding process, signed the pipe and a document that was placed in a capsule underground. At the ceremony in the Turkmen desert, Berdimuhamedow hoped that the project would be operational by December 2019.He said the project proves that Turkmenistan can carry such a huge amount of gas to places where it is required.
The TAPI pipeline will have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas for a 30-year period. India and Pakistan would get 38 mmscmd each, while the re maining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan. Ansari, while terming the project as a “reflection of desire“ to the old age legacy , warned that all stakeholders have to work together with resolve to ensure that “negative forces inimical to the success of the project are addressed in an appropriate manner“.
He also appreciated the role of ministers and officials who worked hard to achieve the goals and said petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan is an example of a new generation of politicians who work hard to make India prosperous.
Ansari said the four nations also need to work together to ensure the technical and commercial viability of the project in its broadest sense. The international market place for energy works on complex principles. Often these are difficult to fathom. However, given the widespread poverty that exists in our countries, it is essential to ensure that we can make energy available at the least possible cost to the largest sections of our people, he said.

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