On Tuesday June 12 in the Turkish city of Eskişehir, the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) was brought online. The opening ceremony was attended by the presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Serbia, the prime minister of Bulgaria, the CEO of BP and representatives of various other companies, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
According to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Ankara and Baku “are writing the energy history of the 21st century”, which has been made possible by the political will of the leaders of both countries.
Aliyev emphasized that on many occasions in the past there have been negotiations on projects to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe, but none of them had been realized until now.
“TANAP is a difficult project, but we have done it. TANAP unites seven countries and is an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC)… It includes Shah Deniz 2, the SGC, TANAP and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP),” the Azerbaijani president observed, commenting that the SGC is an energy security project, “a new gas source, which will provide energy diversification”.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine looks forward to gas transit through the TANAP pipeline.
“Ukraine completely supports this project… and today we have agreed that we will be more than happy to diversify our energy sources and receive gas from TANAP through Bulgaria and Romania,” he said. The Ukrainian president also emphasized that Ukraine will always support European initiatives towards the diversification of the energy resources supply.
Poroshenko also pointed out that in the last decade Russia has been using energy resources as an instrument to exert pressure on energy-dependent countries in order to influence their internal and external politics, the Ukrainian president’s press service reported.
“The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is a clear example of such pressure. Some people think that it is a commercial project, but in actual fact it is a purely geopolitical project. It has nothing to do with energy supply or real diversification. But TANAP is the energy security of Azerbaijan and the energy security of Turkey, and of Europe too. It is the energy security of Ukraine, the diversification of the gas supply to the country and its competitiveness,” Poroshenko remarked.
The 1,850 kilometer long TANAP pipeline is designed to transport Azerbaijani gas from Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz deposit from the Georgian-Turkish border to Turkey’s western borders. At a cost of almost $8 billion, the gas pipeline’s throughput capacity will be at least 16 billion cubic meters, of which 10 billion will be sent to Europe and 6 billion to the western regions of Turkey. In future, the capacity will be increased to 24 billion cubic meters per year, and then 31 billion.
The TANAP project’s shareholders are: SOCAR (51%), SOCAR Turkiye Enerji (7%), BOTAS (30%) and BP (12%).
The project’s official foundation laying ceremony was held in the Turkish province of Kars on March 17, 2015.