MARY, Turkmenistan, Dec 13 (APP): Prime Minister  Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Sunday joined the regional leaders to formally launch work on the historic Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, the largest gas pipeline project in the region.
The ground breaking ceremony of, what Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called the ‘trailblazing project’, was held near the city of Mary, the fourth largest and industrial city of the Central Asian state.
The Prime Minister was joined by Afghan President Ashraf
Ghani, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimohamedow and Indian Vice President Muhammad Hamid Ansari in inaugurating the work on the 1735-kilometer pipeline by pushing the button.
The four leaders also put their signatures on the pipeline to
record the historical moment.
Upon completion by 2019 at the cost of around $10 billion,
the project will supply Pakistan 1325 mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) supply of natural gas to help mitigate its energy crisis.
Addressing the ceremony, the Prime Minister said the presence of regional leaders at the ground-breaking ceremony clearly signalled the importance they attached to this `game changing project’ and their commitment for its early completion.
He said it was a momentous day that an achievement had been made possible through the perseverance, patience and collective endeavours of all stakeholders.
He also thanked the Turkmen President without whose involvement and keen interest, the project could not have seen rapid progress.
He also congratulated the Indian and Afghan leadership for
their commitment to make the gas pipeline a success.
“TAPI is not just a gas transit initiative connecting energy-
rich Central Asia with energy starved South Asia but a trailblazing project,” the Prime Minister said, adding it would open up door to regional economic progress and integration.
Nawaz Sharif said the flagship project would usher a new era of transformation of the lives of millions of people making the TAPI a symbol of shared prosperity and socio-economic development.