Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Azerbaijan displays no interest in Trans-Afghan gas pipeline project
28 April 2008 - ARA News - Azerbaijan displays no interest in the project of construction of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, as told Azerbaijan's Minister of Industry and Energy Natiq Aliyev. He said because the pipeline passes a region of tensions, its construction is unreal at present. "Perhaps, the project will be implemented after the situation in the region is improved". It should be noted that Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India signed a framework agreement on construction of the Trans-Afghan gas pipeline to supply Turkmen gas to South Asia. The construction is to be initiated in 2010 and the first gas supplies are scheduled for 2015. The cost of the project is estimated at $7,600,000,000. The gas pipeline will extend to 1.68 thousand km and its capacity will be 350 mln cubic meters of gas per day. It should be reminded that the idea of the gas pipeline construction via Afghanistan has existed for over 10 years, yet tensions in Afghanistan hindered its implementation. Turkmenistan, which has the largest gas reserves in Central Asia, tries to find ways of diversification of supplies as it has the only way of its exportation by the Russian Gazprom's pipeline system.