By Vafa İsmayilova
Ankara is awaiting Baku’s approval after completing all necessary preparations for the Nakhchivan natural gas pipeline project, which came to the agenda after Azerbaijan's historic victory in the war with Armenia over Karabakh in 2020, Turkey’s Yeni Shafak newspaper reported on July 9.
The Turkish part of the project lays from Ighdir to Nakhchivan’s Sadarak. It will have a length of 85 kilometers. When completed, it will meet all the gas needs of the region with a population of 500,000.
“After the completion of all the works related to the route, survey, expropriation, and project design, the eyes have been turned to Azerbaijan. After the approval of the technical data, the construction of the project will begin,” the newspaper said.
After Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez and his Azerbaijani counterpart Parviz Shahbazov signed the memorandum of understanding on the natural gas supplies to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, all necessary expropriations were carried out on the Turkish side, the report added.
Emergency expropriation in three regions
Yeni Shafak noted that with the decision published in Resmi Gazete (Turkey’s national and only official journal that publishes the new legislation and other official announcements) it was decided to expropriate the immovables that fall on the route within the borders of Ighdir province, Merkez, Karakoyunlu and Aralik districts for the purpose of realizing the Nakhchivan natural gas pipeline project.
Moreover, the Petrol Transport Corporation General Directorate immediately decided to expropriate the immovables needed for the construction of fixed impact access roads, energy transmission lines, cathodic protection lines, and anode beds within the scope of the project.
With the project, a new line will be established between Turkey and Azerbaijan after the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, the TANAP natural gas pipelines. BOTAS and SOCAR have been authorized to implement the project.
Gas needs of 500,000 residents
The implementation of the Turkey-Nakhchivan natural gas project will play an important role in deepening and developing strong cooperation between the two countries. The annual natural gas consumption of Nakhchivan, which has a population of around 500,000, reaches half a billion cubic meters. With the opening of the line, all the needs in this direction will be met through Turkey.
The Turkey-Nakhchivan natural gas pipeline will be built in the continuation of the Ighdır natural gas pipeline, which takes off from the East Anatolian natural gas main transmission line. The Turkish section of the line, starting from Ighdir to Nakhchivan’s Sadarak, will have a length of 85 kilometers. With the project, the economy of Nakhchivan will also be revived and the way for many initiatives and investments for the region will be opened.
Regional transportation system’s main vein
On the other hand, the establishment of a land corridor with Nakhchivan, which is the only Azerbaijani territory on the Turkish border and has no connection with the rest of the country, will further strengthen Azerbaijan's position in the international transport and logistics system. While direct transportation connections between Azerbaijan’s other regions and Nakhchivan are only possible by air, the opening of the said transportation corridor will facilitate the construction of cheaper highways and railway lines, which are an alternative to this expensive transportation vehicle and will bring more export and import volumes. Thus, Nakhchivan will become the mainstay of the regional transportation system.
With its integration into the North-South transportation corridor and the planned Kars-Ighdir-Nakhchivan railway, it is anticipated that the line will play an important role in the transport of international cargo to Europe. The Nakhchivan-Tbilisi-Kars railway will reduce transportation costs and duration by 1.7 times compared to the length of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in the future.
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