The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project’s 2017 deadline for first flow of gas seems to be too challenging as some basic requirements of the project are yet to be sorted out. According to the present plan, the TAPI project is to be implemented by August 2017 and that too if all the milestones are achieved as per schedule which seems to be daunting task. For example, ADB, the transaction advisor, feels that 15-month period for the selection of Consortium Leader will be extremely challenging to achieve and the project of such magnitude and complexity will take more than 24 months.
The TAPI project, estimated to cost $ 7.6 billion, has many other loose ends which need to be tied up. For example, Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan has not yet been finalized. The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), TAPI Ltd, has not yet been formed. And also Transaction Advisory Services Agreement and Master Schedule (phase-wise completion deadline) of the TAPI project have not been finalized. All these are basic prerequisites which need to be completed before work starts on ground. So, one would be too lucky if gas starts flowing in even by 2017.