The Union Cabinet, on Thursday, gave its approval for formation of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the $9-billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project. It also permitted GAIL (India) to join the SPV.

The Dubai-based SPV, TAPI Ltd., will scout for consortium leader, who will build and operate the project, arrange finances and be responsible for safe delivery of gas through the pipeline.

TAPI Ltd. is required to have an initial contribution of $20 million, that is, $5 million from an identified entity from each of the four-participating countries,

a statement from the government said.

The four countries signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) along with a Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement (GPFA). To accelerate the project, the parties have formed a minister-level steering committee and technical working group (TWO). Suitable provisions for security and safety of the pipeline have been made in the IGA and GPFA.

The 1,680 km pipeline will carry 90 million metric standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) of gas, and is scheduled to become operational in 2018. India and Pakistan will get 38 mmscmd each, while the remaining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan.

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