The shareholders of the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) project have signed an agreement to invest $200m in studies and engineering for the $10bn natural gas pipeline project.
The funding will be used for detailed engineering and route surveys, environmental and social safeguard studies, and procurement and financing activities.
Construction of the project is planned to commence following making a final investment decision. The project is planned to complete in three years.
The project is designed to boost to the economies and energy security of the participating countries while ensuing long-term natural gas supplies.
Turkmenistan Cabinet of Ministers deputy chairman Yagshygeldi Kakayev said: "The financial support committed by the shareholders of TAPI under this investment agreement is a true testament of their intention to get this historic project off the ground and running.
"Turkmenistan’s vision is strongly aligned with that of its TAPI neighbors to make this project a reality and to deliver a truly regional project that will address energy demands and support economic prosperity and security in the region."
The 1,600km pipeline project is intended to export up to 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas annually sourced from Turkmenistan Dauletabad and Galkynysh gas fields to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
ADB assisted in the establishment of TPCL, select Turkmengaz as consortium leader, and finalize the shareholders and investment agreements.
ADB Central and West Asia Department director general Sean O’Sullivan said: "TAPI exemplifies ADB’s key role in promoting regional cooperation and integration over the past 20 years.
"TAPI will unlock economic opportunities, transform infrastructure, diversify the energy market for Turkmenistan, and enhance energy security for the region."
Image: Officials at the investment agreement signing ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Asian Development Bank.