TAPI pipeline gaining momentum

July 12, 2013 at 7:10 AM

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, July 12 (UPI) -- Regional investors in a multilateral pipeline from Turkmenistan are expected to pick a company to steer the project forward, the Indian government said.

Delegates from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India attended a meeting in Ashgabat for the 1,050-mile pipeline this week. The project is favored by the United States over a rival pipeline planned by Iran for energy-hungry Pakistan.

The Indian government said the TAPI pipeline is gaining momentum among host countries.

"The Asian Development Bank has been appointed as legal-technical consultant and it will soon identify a company which will drive the project," Indian daily newspaper The Hindu quoted government sources Thursday as saying. "The company will be from a neutral country."

The Indian government in February gave its consent to the forming of TAPI Ltd., which from Dubai will look for a consortium to lead national pipeline developments.

India and Pakistan are to receive 1.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year from the project while Afghanistan would get 494 million cubic feet.

There is no indication when pipeline construction would start.

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