Afghan security force to defend Tapi gas pipeline
KABUL: Afghanistan will raise a 7,000-member security force to safeguard the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline project, Radio Pakistan reported.
Afghan Mines and Petroleum Minister Daud Shah Saba told the Upper House of Parliament in the country’s the force demining the path of the pipeline and will provide security during the execution of the job.
Saba said the work on the clearing of the pipeline passageway would start in April 2016 as well as procurement for demining will be complete by next month.
Building on the $10 billion Tapi pipeline started before this December some 25 years following the start of the job. The pipeline will be finished by December 2019, the Turkmen president said in Ashgabat at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Before this month, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ordered state firms Turkmengazneftstroi and Turkmengaz to start constructing the segment of the pipeline in the remote republic.
All in all, 1,800 kilometers and is will stretch likely to cost more than $10 billion.
The Tapi job could help facilitate growing energy shortages in India and Asian giants Pakistan.
For Turkmenistan, which has been hit by low energy costs and reliance on China for a large proportion of its gasoline sales, Tapi is a vital chance to diversify its exports.
But doubt hangs over the endeavor that is expensive. Besides the dangers related to a connection traversing war torn Afghanistan, the four-state association has yet to support the involvement of a foreign commercial associate willing to aid fund it.
The job is politically complicated, logistically challenging, and requiring collaborating authorities, as the pipeline would pass through regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan harassed by Taliban and separatist insurgents.