By Rufiz Hafizoglu
The major energy projects jointly realized today by Azerbaijan and Turkey will play a great role in ensuring Europe’s energy security. The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), which is meant to deliver Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field’s gas from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey, is one of those remarkable steps taken by the Azerbaijan and Turkey.
In an interview with the Trend Agency, Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz spoke about TANAP, Europe’s energy security, Turkish Stream and other topics.
TANAP, the region’s development and ensuring Europe’s energy security
The TANAP project is needed by not only Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, but also by the entire Eurasia, said Taner Yildiz. He added that along with its energy potential, TANAP will serve for stability.
Yildiz, recalling that TANAP’s foundation was laid in March this year in Turkey’s Kars province, said Turkey will start receiving gas via this gas pipeline in 2018.
“I can say that the TANAP project is a good example of brotherly relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey,” said the minister. “With the construction of TANAP, which is the main part of the Southern Gas Corridor, an important step is taken to deliver gas from the Caspian basin to Europe.”
He said Azerbaijan and Turkey have achieved significant success in the realization of the TANAP project after the parties signed an agreement in 2011.
Yildiz also reminded that in June 2012, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement on the TANAP project as a result of the parties’ political support to the project.
Following this, the final investment decision on Shah Deniz project was adopted Dec.17, 2013, according to the minister.
Once all the stages of the unique Southern Gas Corridor project are implemented, Turkey and Azerbaijan will create a strong link between the Caspian Sea region and Europe, he said.
TANAP project envisages the transportation of gas of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey. TANAP’s initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Around six billion cubic meters of this gas will be delivered to Turkey and the rest of the volume to Europe. Following the completion of the legal implementation procedure, TANAP’s shareholders’ list will be as follows: SOCAR – 58 percent, Botas – 30 percent and BP – 12 percent.
Turkish Stream and competition with TANAP
“TANAP is the brainchild of Turkey and our essence,” said the minister. “Turkey cannot pursue a policy of competition with this project.”
Speaking about the competition between TANAP and Turkish Stream projects, Yildiz said Turkey’s opportunities allow it to implement several projects simultaneously and these projects are in no way rivals.
The minister added that TANAP has a special significance among other energy projects.
“Since TANAP is not an alternative to any project, other energy projects are not alternatives to it either,” said Taner Yildiz.
The first branch of the Turkish Stream offshore gas pipeline from Russia to the west of Turkey is to be put into operation in late 2016. It will be meant to supply the west of Turkey with gas, instead of its transit through Ukraine’s territory. The other three branches of the pipeline are designed to supply gas to the countries of Central and Southern Europe instead of its transit through Ukraine’s territory.
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