New Delhi: The construction of the $10-billion four-nation TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline project will be completed in the next five years, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday.
"TAPI will take five years. I invite the Indian industry to join us in production of fertilisers and chemical industry based on supply of gas from Turkmenistan and Afghanistan's natural gas," Ghani said at a business event here organised by industry chambers FICCI, Assocham and Confederation of Indian Industry.
"We have a framework for transmitting with the pipelines from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan to Pakistan to India. But I invite you to another alternative," the Afghan president said regarding the pipeline that will pass through some militarily sensitive regions but has yet not found any entities to become the project consortium leader.
Ghani also invited the Indian industry to invest in production of fertilisers and chemicals by tapping the natural gas from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
"Turkmenistan's gas is available. If we don't tap it, we are likely to lose it to other opportunities," he said.
"I am proposing a shortcut to you. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is interested in this approach. We need you to come together to turn Afghanistan into a centre of both fertiliser and chemicals," he added.
The TAPI pipeline will have a carrying capacity of 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas and will be operational in 2018. India and Pakistan would get 38 mmscmd each, while the remaining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan.
The estimated cost of the project is nearly $7.6 billion.
"We see the Indian private sector as a key partner in transforming Afghanistan from an area shadowed by conflict to a hub where goods, ideas, people flow in all directions," Ghani said.