Afghanistan-Tajikistan Gas Pipeline
Running from Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan to Sarband, Tajikistan, the proposed Afghanistan-Tajikistan Gas Pipeline would total 230 km with a diameter of 530 mm and traverse 138 km in Tajikistan and 92 km in Afghanistan. Given the significant proven natural gas deposits in Afghanistan’s Amudarya region, the potential exists to export to Tajikistan upwards of 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas per year (note: Tajikistan currently sources natural gas from Uzbekistan at a price of USD $300 per 1000 cubic meters at an average of 200 million cubic meters per year). At this projected export volume, the rate of return on investment will be significant within 8 to 10 years, especially considering the current natural gas needs and past consumption patterns of Talco, Tajikcement, TajikAzot, Dushanbe CHP, and other major industries in Tajikistan. China has also recently expressed an interest in natural gas development in the Amudarya region, and the proposed Afghanistan-Tajikistan pipeline has the further potential of connecting even larger proven gas deposits in eastern Turkmenistan with western China, via a proposed extension of this pipeline through Tajikistan and a southern portion of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Afghanistan-Tajikistan Gas Pipeline project is currently in the initial discussion phase between the governments of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, with separate but related conversations ongoing with the government of Turkmenistan. To progress, a comprehensive feasibility study is required, followed by the formation of a possible regional public-private consortium of investors (for which an external technical advising agency may prove helpful similar to the TAPI pipeline). Investment road shows could then support the mobilization of financial capital for the project. In addition, a pipeline security plan should be developed to allay the concerns of investors about constructing and operating the pipeline in potentially volatile parts of Afghanistan Tajikistan.The proposed Afghanistan-Tajikistan Gas Pipeline has the potential to represent an important component of the Government of Afghanistan’s Energy and National Infrastructure and Connectivity Development National Priority Programs.
Recommended Actions by RECCA-VII and Beyond:
- Commission a comprehensive feasibility study on the technical and financial requirements of the Afghanistan-Tajikistan Pipeline project.
- Enlist the support of external technical advising agency to facilitate the formation of a regional public-private consortium of investors and convening of investment road shows.
- The participating countries should undertake threat and opportunity assessments in provinces hosting the pipeline and jointly design a pipeline security mechanism that could be presented at the investment roads shows to allay legitimate security concerns.
- To further develop this project, a working group should be formed between Afghanistan and Tajikistan to assess the current draft agreement and develop a plan for further negotiations and finalization through a ministerial-level steering committee (in manner similar to the TAPI project).
|Budget & Funding Status||USD $110 million (though further feasibility work required)|
|Institutional Partners||Afghanistan and Tajikistan with ongoing discussions with Turkmenistan about possible collaboration|