New Delhi: Struggling to get the USD 9 billion TAPI gas pipeline underway, its four promoter nations have decided to float a special purpose vehicle to keep the transnational project alive.
The SPV, TAPI Ltd will be formed with Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India pumping USD 5 million equity each. India will be represented by state-owned gas utility,
GAIL India Ltd.
The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may on Thursday consider formation of the Dubai-based SPV, official sources said.
It would also consider GAIL joining the SPV as India representative.
Though the SPV for the TAPI project is listed on agenda for the Cabinet scheduled on Thursday, it may after all not be taken up as Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily is in US on a day visit.
The SPV is being considered for the project as no multinational company is willing to participate in the project unless they get a share in Turkmenistan's rich gas fields.
While Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are of the view that the four promoters could build and operate the pipeline on their own, India has insisted that the project be taken up only if a multinational company leads it.
New Delhi does not want to be at the mercy of Afghanistan and Pakistan for its gas needs and also feels that none of the nominee companies of the four countries has the financial and managerial capability to execute the project.
Sources said TAPI Ltd would scout for a consortium leader who will build and operate the project, while the US government would pursue Turkmenistan to get upstream equity for its multinational.
The multinational firm would be responsible for safe delivery of gas through the 1,680-km pipeline from Turkmenistan that will traverse through militancy-infested areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The 1,680-km will carry 90 million cubic metres a day (mmcmd) gas and was scheduled to become operational in 2018. India and Pakistan would get 38 mmcmd each, while the remaining 14 mcmd will be supplied to Afghanistan.


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