An initial investment of $200 million (£140m) has been agreed to build a gas pipeline in South Asia.
The deal between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help develop the 1,600-kilometer pipeline in three years.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline is expected to transport up to 33 billion cubic meters of gas annually in 30 years.
It will pave the way for long term natural gas supplies that will give a major boost to the signatory countries’ economies and energy security, stated the ADB.
The funding will also help make detailed engineering and route surveys, environmental and social safeguard studies and procurement and financing activities to enable a final investment decision after which construction will start.
Sean O’Sullivan, ADB’s Director General for the Central and West Asia Department said: “TAPI exemplifies ADB’s key role in promoting regional co-operation and integration over the past 20 years. TAPI will unlock economic opportunities, transform infrastructure diversify the energy market for Turkmenistan and enhance energy security for the region.”