TAPI to significantly expand Turkmenistan’s export capacity: CEBR

BAKU, Azerbaijan: Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline will significantly increase Turkmenistan’s export capacity, Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency reported citing the World Economic League Table 2019 (WELT) of the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

China is currently Turkmenistan’s largest customer for natural gas exports. However, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline is set to come online in the early 2020s, and will significantly expand Turkmenistan’s export capacity. The idea of a Trans-Caspian pipeline has also been explored, which would provide access to the European market,” said the report.

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The CEBR said that Turkmenistan’s economy remains strong, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.2 percent forecast for 2018.

The recent pickup in hydrocarbon prices together with some restrictions on imports have lowered the current account deficit from nearly 20 percent of GDP in 2016 to 8 percent of GDP in 2018. The government is currently aiming to prioritize expenditures in growth-enhancing areas such as infrastructure in order to boost Turkmenistan’s competitiveness. The Communications Ministry has also outlined plans to improve access to the internet and digital services, particularly in rural areas. ”

The CEBR forecasts that the Turkmen economy will grow at an average annual rate of 5.7 percent over the next fifteen years, as increasing gas production is offset by a general decline in commodity prices.

“This will see Turkmenistan move from 91st in the World Economic League Table in 2018 to 70th by 2033.”

The construction of the TAPI pipeline began in December 2015. The possible costs of the TAPI project vary within $7-10 billion.

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The total length of the pipeline, with a capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year will be 1,840 kilometers. The fuel will be supplied from the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan, the second largest in the world.

The length of the Turkmen section will be 205 kilometers.