ADB suspends TAPI project until IEA gains international recognition

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has confirmed that work on the trans-nations Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project has been suspended until the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government has gained international recognition.

In response to an email sent to the ADB by Ariana News, an official confirmed that the project has been put on hold.

He said the ADB “has paused all its TAPI project due diligence and processing activities until further notice.”

According to the ADB, while the international community continues to assess the evolving situation in Afghanistan, the bank has decided to hold off on its assistance in Afghanistan. The official said the ADB however continues to consult with its shareholders and other stakeholders to monitor the situation in Afghanistan.

The $10 billion TAPI project to transport Turkmen natural gas through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India is one of the largest economic projects to date in the region.

“Some time ago, the Pakistani Minister of Economy said that we have a security problem and we cannot complete this project, and they have a problem with the fact that they want to eliminate India, but India will not be eliminated by Turkmenistan, which in fact is India’s last TAPI station, ” said Sayed Massoud an economic analyst.

IEA officials meanwhile said about two weeks ago that they had met with the TAPI project chief executive and the Turkmen ambassador to Kabul to discuss the project.

“The TAPI project is so important that it will change not only Afghanistan but also the region’s economy, and its first implication for Afghanistan is that it gives Afghanistan an international value.

“Second, common economic provisions create security and increase economic cooperation,” said Shirbaz Kaminzada, the President of the Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines.

The TAPI project stretches for about 1,800 km and will transport about 33 billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas annually through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.