Penspen selected to study feasibility of TAPI pipeline

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on October 14, 2014 Published on October 14, 2014

The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project received official backing from the supplier country, Turkmenistan, and the receiving countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, in 2010.   -  The Hindu


British company Penspen has been awarded the contract for studying the feasibility of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, by the project’s principal financier Asian Development Bank.

Estimated in 2008 to cost $7.6 billion, the pipeline is designed to carry 90 million cubic metres a day of gas from Turkmenistan’s prolific Galkynysh gas field to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The award of the contract, for which oil giants such as Chevron were in the fray, is yet another milestone event in the long formative history of the pipeline.

If the pipeline becomes a reality, it will mean a lot to India, but it is still a long way, literally and figuratively, for the project to reach even ground-breaking. Issues such as price and security would first need to be resolved. The pipeline would run 735 km across Afghanistan and another 800 km through Pakistan.

A big positive for the project is the backing of the US that it enjoys. The US is opposed to the other pipeline in the works, the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, due to its opposition to Iran. TAPI, on the other hand, is liked by the US because it would help the development of Afghanistan, a country that will earn $1 billion in transit fees annually.

Penspen has said it would take about six months to complete the feasibility study. Gas is expected to flow through the pipeline in 2017, but many experts believe that the date could be put off a bit.

The TAPI pipeline project has been on the drawing table for decades. The initial feasibility study was conducted in 2004, but project negotiations gathered steam only in mid-2010, and by the end of 2010 an intergovernmental agreement, gas pipeline framework agreement and Heads of Agreement were signed in Turkmenistan.

Penspen’s job includes a review of the proposed route, confirmation of hydraulics including compression station size and location and is expected to arrive at cost estimates and an execution strategy.

Penspen is member of the Dar Group, an international network of professional service firms, with over 13,000 staff in over 100 countries. It is dedicated to the engineering design and project management of major infrastructure projects. “Penspen is able to draw upon the resources, expertise and experience of the entire Group,” says a press release from the company.

Published on October 14, 2014
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