Ashgabat, 5 November 2017 (nCa) — Many in the audience stopped playing with their smartphones and readjusted the ear-buds of their translation headphones when the time came for Cevdet Denizer of ADB to speak.
He was about to refocus the entire paradigm of TAPI, and a few minutes later, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan were to throw in some inspiring chunks of new information.
Denizer asked rhetorically that perhaps the initial timeline of TAPI was rather too ambitious? He said that the project could best be undertaken in two phases, though he added that it needs more discussion.
He also said that funding itself was not an issue but the task ahead was to obtain the funding at reasonable cost.
He added that the idea of implementing TAPI in two phases and the search for low-cost funding must be discussed in some detail.
To this, Amanov said that it is usual for such large projects to be implemented in phases.
Djepbaarov of the state bank for foreign economic affairs of Turkmenistan said that many ideas and proposals for funding in different formats were under consideration. He said that FEED study by ILF had generated some necessary documents that would lead to the start of the construction phase.
He told that the IDB (Islamic Development Bank) had signed last year to provide USD 700 million for TAPI.
As a significant piece of new information, Djepbarov said that Saudi Arabian Development Fund was ready to supply the equipment for TAPI.
In another new piece of information, he said that Turkmenistan had deposited its equity share for TAPI already.
He said that his bank was in touch with the European and Asian credit agencies.
He also endorsed the idea of ADB to implement TAPI in two phases.
Djepbarov said that the support base of TAPI keeps widening and now the UNDP-WorldBank were providing technical support.
Amanov added that Turkmenistan promotes TAPI very actively and had already allocated its share of equity.
He asked Ahmady as to what were the plans of Afghanistan for financing TAPI in its territory.
Ahmady said that ADB will provide the equity portion of Afghanistan so that question is taken care of already.
Dr. Sebastian Hofert von Weiss of EY said that TAPI was certainly challenging as far its financing was concerned but so was the case with BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhun gas pipeline). It can be managed very smoothly, he said.
Sachin Karia of Allen & Overy, the legal consultants of TAPI, said that there was rock solid support from the government of Turkmenistan and the agreements and documents were based on the international best practices.
The narrative is proceeding in the way the market understands and expects, he said.
To be continued . . . /// nCa