Published On: Mon, Oct 26th, 2015

TAPI shareholders agreement initialed

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By Tariq Ahmed Saeedi

KARACHI: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) have initialed the shareholders agreement for the construction and operation of 1,600-kilometre natural gas pipeline project.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is the TAPI secretariat, in a press statement on Monday, said petroleum ministers of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and senior officials of the ADB agreed on their respective shareholding percentages and initialed the shareholders agreement at the 23rd meeting of the TAPI steering committee in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on 24 October, 2015.

The ADB said the agreement determines the principles related to the management and operation of TAPI Pipeline Company Limited, which will build, finance, own and operate the planned pipeline, “the rights and obligations of shareholders, and the ownership and transfer of shares.”

“Its [the agreement] initialing follows closely the endorsement of state concern “Turkmengas” (Turkmengaz), as consortium leader of the TAPI pipeline and represents another step by the stakeholders to make this historical project a reality.”

The TAPI pipeline is expected to export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Turkmenistan, which has one of the world’s largest proven gas reserves, to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India over three decades.

The Manila-based ADB, the project’s transaction advisor, facilitated the establishment of TAPI Pipeline Company Limited, the selection of Turkmengaz as consortium leader to spearhead the implementation of the pipeline, and the finalisation of the shareholders agreement.

The writer is a Karachi-based journalist. He can be reached at tsaeedi@gmail.com.

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