Meeting: May 26, Gas and Renewables Emerging Energy Economies ‘Gas sector investment opportunities in Turkmenistan: TAPI and new projects of interest'
The last interactive discussion of the Brussels Energy Club took place in partnership with the Embassy and Mission of Turkmenistan to the European Union.
Our focus topic for this meeting is:
Gas and Renewables Emerging Energy Economies
"Gas sector investment opportunities in Turkmenistan:
TAPI and new projects of interest"
The meeting took place online via zoom video conference on Wednesday 26 May 2021, 12-2pm Central European (Brussels) Time
Special welcome and introduction from:
H.E. Tchary Atayev
Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the Kingdom of Belgium
With key interventions from
Deputy Chairman of State Concern "Turkmengas"
CEO of "TAPI Pipeline Company Limited" (TPCL)
With special comments from
Mr. Nazifullah Salarzai
Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Kingdom of Belgium, the EU and NATO
For most avid energy security followers in Brussels, gas and renewables have long become a topic highly inter-twined on the one hand, if not a marriage of convenience on the other. During the period spanning roughly the years 2000-2010, very few of us could fail to keep a close eye on key gas supply security developments, bearing in mind those game changing supply disruptions emanating from the east. These led to our subsequent efforts to build an Energy Union and efforts to mitigate, in the midst of the growing shadow of the Shale Revolution from across the Atlantic. In the ensuing decade, as the drive towards sustainable energy culminated in the Paris agreements on climate, renewables have tended to super-cede gas as the new buzzword — the fashionable shade of green now somewhat outshining the flammable vision of blue.
Yet, while policy makers in Europe continue to push for renewables largely at the expense of fossil fuels, at the more global level gas and renewables are likely to coexist for quite some time. Indeed, spurred on by a bourgeoning, pre-Covid international LNG trade, demand for investment into a diversity of gas projects remains both politically and commercially desirable — directly in parallel to many governments likewise seeking to attract investment into renewable energy generation. This could, and should, create a more dynamic and diversified set of opportunities for energy investors to choose from, particularly in the emerging markets. We are, after all, living thorough an era of an "energy transition" and participating in the great changes taking place in the market is more desirable for many than merely observing from the side-lines.
The gas business and investment prospects in Turkmenistan
In our next interactive discussion in the BREC gas and renewable emerging energy market series, we focus on Turkmenistan, one of the world"s core gas producing countries. This year Turkmenistan will celebrate 30 years of its independent statehood, an impressive occasion to be celebrated. Turkmenistan and its gas industry are, in many ways, inseparable. For this young country, the natural gas industry has proven to be not only the engine driving its domestic economic growth, it has also been a key driver consolidating upon Ashgabat"s international standing. Turkmenistan has not only succeeded in diversifying its gas export routes, it has also shown leadership in wider-Asia by championing a true regional gas development strategy. Moreover, Turkmenistan now emphasises that economic, social and humanitarian development should be key end goals of its regional gas strategy. These are no less important than purely commercial objectives, which apply with particular reference to Afghanistan, where peace and stability is key for regional prosperity.
In this context, substantial attention has been accorded to the country"s flagship project, the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (TAPI) gas pipeline, works on which are currently well under way. The 1,635-km TAPI Pipeline Project will transport up to 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year from the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan to three off-take points in Afghanistan (located at Herat, Helmand and Kandahar), three offtake points in Pakistan (located at Quetta, Multan and Jahanian), and a final off-take point at the Pakistan-India border in order to supply the Indian market.
The pipeline will be operated and maintained by TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL), with support from SC Turkmengaz, pursuant to a technical support agreement, which will provide for secondment of experienced SC Turkmengaz personnel. TPCL has been established to build, own and operate the Afghanistan and Pakistan sections of the pipeline. TPCL shareholders are SC Turkmengas (85%), Afghan Gas Enterprise (AGE) (5%), Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited (ISGS) (5%) and GAIL (India) Limited (GAIL) (5%).
The ensuing BREC meeting will allow participants to learn more about the project"s current evolution first-hand from the Project"s consortium leader and the SPV deeply engaged in project development. The meeting will also present a rare opportunity to overview the state of cutting-edge investment plans in the country"s gas sector more broadly, including those currently prioritised by the government. We will also explore questions about Turkmenistan"s energy policies more broadly, including the country"s interest in the development of renewable energy within the context of energy transition.
As we evaluate Turkmenistan in our next interactive session of the BREC gas and renewables emerging energy market series, we will turn to exploring the questions posed above in substantial depth. We look forward to seeing you online on May 26 for an enthralling session on Turkmenistan"s gas industry, delivered first hand by some of the country"s key energy principals.
Program for May 26, 2021: 12:00 — 14:00 hours
- Online arrival, virtual welcome and introduction of speakers and guests
- Setting out the debate by Brussels Energy Club personalities
- Scene setting speech by the Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the EU
- Presentation by the Deputy Chairman of State Concern "Turkmengas"
- Presentation by the CEO of "TAPI Pipeline Company Limited" (TPCL)
- Planned: Special comments by the Ambassador of Afghanistan to the EU
- Expert-level roundtable discussion with members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club
Ambassador Tchary Atayev has developed a career as a leading diplomat serving his country since 1997. From 2008-13 he was in New York serving as Counselor of the Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the United Nations. Following his posting in the United States, he was Head of Department for the Americas back at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan in Ashgabat, from 2014-16. He was then appointed and served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan to the Republic of Tajikistan in Dushanbe, from 2016-2018. From that point on, he was appointed and currently serves as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Head of Mission to the European Union, OPCW and to NATO.
Mr Guvanch Agajanov graduated from the Turkmen Polytechnic Institute majoring in the development of oil and gas fields in 2002 and qualified as a mining engineer. From December 2003 to June 2004, he worked as an assistant driller of the Annau expedition of "Akhaloilgasexploration" enterprise of the State Corporation "Turkmengeology". Between 06.2004 — 04.2007 he worked as a senior specialist of the Ministry of oil and gas industry and mineral resources of Turkmenistan. From May 2007 to July 2016 Mr. Agajanov worked in various positions at the State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources under the President of Turkmenistan. From July 18, 2016 to January 30, 2019, he worked as Head Department of the State Concern "Turkmengas". From January 30, 2019 to the present time, he serves as the Deputy Chairman of the State Concern "Turkmengas".
Mr Muhammetmyrat Amanov has been the CEO of "TAPI Pipeline Company Limited" (TPCL) since May 2016. He previously spent eight years working in various positions at "Turkmengaz" including holding the position of Deputy Chairman from 2012 to 2016. During his time at "Turkmengaz", Mr Amanov was responsible for the development and construction of over 3,000 km of gas pipelines (the largest of them being the 56" 800-km East-West pipeline) across Turkmenistan, as well as for the development of stage 1 of the "Galkynysh" gas field in various roles (including head of production and technical department, and deputy director for construction). Mr Amanov holds a degree in Engineering, Economics and Management from Turkmen Polytechnic Institute, the most prestigious technical university in Turkmenistan. He began his career at "Halkbank" in Ashgabat from which he moved to Turkmen Oil and Gas Construction Company (Turkmennebitgazgurlushyk) as head of production planning.
Mr Nazifullah Salarzai is the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Kingdom of Belgium, the European Union, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels. Ambassador Salarzai has worked as Deputy Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York from September 2015 until March 2020. Prior to his posting to New York, he served as the Director General of Policy and Strategy Development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul. Mr. Salarzai has also served as the Director of Communication and Spokesperson to H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, managing communications for the newly formed National Unity Government in 2014. Ambassador Salarzai has also worked with the United Nations in Afghanistan as the National Spokesperson for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Ambassador Salarzai has a profound knowledge of peace and security issues, counterterrorism, international relations and strategic communications. Born in 1978, Mr Salarzai received an MD from Balkh Medical University in 2002. He is fluent in English, Pashto, Dari and Urdu. He is married and has two sons and a daughter.
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