THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE AFGHAN SECTION OF THE TAPI GAS PIPELINE STARTED
On February 23, 2018, the construction of the Afghan section of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline had been started in the Serkhetabad district of Mary province, and the laying of power transmission lines and fiber-optic communication lines on the route Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) was launched. Together with this, the Serhetabat-Turgundi railway was put into operation.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shahid Hakan Abbasi and State Minister for External Affairs of the Republic of India Mubashir Javed Akbar attended the ceremonies.
Among the participants of the celebration are the Chair of the Mejlis, Deputies of the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, heads of military and law enforcement agencies, ministries and departments, and public organizations of Turkmenistan. Heads of diplomatic missions and representative offices of the international organizations accredited in our country, delegations of a number of countries, representatives of authoritative international financial structures, including the Asian and Islamic Development Banks, foreign business circles, foreign and domestic mass media also take part in the celebrations.
During the ceremony, a teleconference took place, through which the participants watched the welding of the joint of two steel pipes of the next segment of the TAPI power line, the beginning of the laying of the power transmission line and the fiber optic cable.
“Turkmenistan, possessing colossal natural gas reserves, is carrying out large-scale work on exporting blue fuel through diversification, and creating a multi-vector system for transporting energy resources to world markets”, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said at a ceremony marking the start of the Afghan section of the TAPI gas pipeline. The implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline project, which will take its origin from the Galkynysh deposit, which holds the second place in terms of the reserves of "blue fuel" in the world, besides solving urgent social issues in the region, will also contribute to peace and sustainable development. There will be an opportunity to create thousands of new jobs.
The route of this large gas pipeline also provides for the construction of an optical fiber communication line. From the border of our country through Afghanistan to Pakistan lies 814 kilometers of fiber optic track. With the full implementation of this project in the future, Turkmenistan will play the role of an important information bridge between the countries of Europe and South-East Asia.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stressed that Turkmenistan attaches great importance to building up cooperation with the neighboring Islamic Republic of Afghanistan also in the transport sphere. As an example, the head of state showed the Kerky-Imamnazar-Akina railway - the already commissioned section of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan highway.
More recently, the Ministry of Railway Transport of Turkmenistan has completely reconstructed a railway with a total length of 13 kilometers to Afghanistan's Turgundi station. With the implementation of this project, the capacity of the station has increased, its importance in the trade turnover of Afghanistan has increased, and the possibility of exporting Afghan products to international markets, as well as deliveries of imported goods to the country in a short and optimal way has been opened.
The interaction between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan in the energy sector is also gaining wider scope. In order to increase the amount of electricity exported to a fraternal country, we systematically build new stations, power transmission lines. And the laying of one more of them, namely, the 500-kW power-line Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan, besides providing electricity to the facilities along the TAPI gas pipeline route, will also provide an opportunity to export it through Afghanistan to Pakistan and the Southeast Asian states.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan electricity transmission line between the Government of Turkmenistan, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, as well as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project Heads of Terms - Host Government Agreement were signed during the solemn ceremony of launching the construction of the next sstage of the TAPI project and laying the electricity transmission lines and fibre-optic lines along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route.
Further, the heads of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, the head of the Government of Pakistan and the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of India left the Serhetabat Etrap for the Afghan city of Herat, where today's celebrations were continued.
Today, for all of us, a big holiday, which we celebrate together with the fraternal Afghan people, our Pakistani and Indian people, as well as friends from other countries, said the head of state. This meeting symbolizes the unity of our ideas and goals, confirming the effectiveness of the ongoing cooperation, whose visible positive results we are all right to be proud of.
The beginning of laying the next stage of the TAPI gas pipeline, power transmission lines and fiber-optic communication between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the construction of the Serhetabat-Turgundi railway clearly demonstrate the very responsible approach of all participating countries of these projects, their foresight, consent, commitment to their commitments, continued President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
As the Turkmen leader said, the implementation of these integration projects opens a wide path for building effective cooperation between the countries of the region, increasing their economic potential.