(EnergyAsia, November 14 2014, Friday) — The state gas companies of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have established a company that will build, own and operate a planned 1,800-km pipeline linking the four countries, said Asian Development Bank (ADB) which was appointed project adviser last November.

The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline will be equally owned by state-owned Turkmengas, Afghan Gas Enterprise, Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited, and GAIL (India) Limited.

Using the pipeline, Turkmenistan will export up to 33 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year to the other three countries for 30 years. The ADB did not say when the pipeline’s construction will begin and complete, and how much the project will cost.

The project will enable landlocked Turkmenistan, which has the world’s fourth-largest proven gas reserves, to expand its gas exports beyond China and Russia to other nearby countries.

“Establishment of the TAPI pipeline company is a key milestone in the development of the pipeline,” said Klaus Gerhaeusser, the director general of bank’s Central and West Asia Department.

“It is a tangible sign of transformational cooperation among the parties that presages the enhanced energy security, business prospects, and overall peace and stability in the region promised by the pipeline.”

ADB said it advised on the establishment of the TAPI pipeline company as part of a larger goal to identify and select a commercial consortium to lead the construction and operation of the pipeline. The commercial consortium leader will take a substantial stake in the company.