The opening ceremony for the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline's (TANAP) Europe link will be held on Saturday, Nov. 30, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said Friday.
Speaking at the Turkish parliament's planning and budget committee on the ministry's 2020 budget plans, Donmez recalled that the TANAP project was officially launched in June 2018, and since then up to the end of October, nearly 3.18 billion cubic meters of gas has been transited to Turkey from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz-2 oil field.
The TANAP pipeline stretches from the Turkish-Georgian border to the Turkish-Greek border to supply natural gas to both Turkey and also European countries.
With an investment of around $8 billion, TANAP will deliver 6 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas to Turkey and 10 billion to Europe per year.
The 1,850-kilometer-long pipeline comprises the largest section of the 3,500 kilometers of the Southern Gas Corridor, which was inaugurated on May 29 in Baku.
"Works on the part of the project that will carry gas to Europe have been finalized. We will bring gas to European consumers through the TANAP Europe link whose opening ceremony will be held on Nov. 30," Donmez explained.
The minister added that the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project - the European leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, will become commercially operational in 2020 to start the transfer of 10 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas to Europe.
- Oil and natural gas explorations
Donmez gave an overview of the work undertaken by the ministry in the first nine months of 2019, and said that Turkey opened 117 oil exploration and production rigs and drilled 250 thousand meters in total.
The result of this was the concentration of exploration, drilling and production in regions of high hydrocarbon potential, which led to the discovery of nearly 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the Thrace region.
With this discovery, Donmez explained that it will be possible to reach 300 million cubic meters of gas production per year to help meet the energy demand of nearly 300 thousand households for the next 10 years.
Drilling works will also be accelerated in Southeastern Anatolia and natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean also look promising based on preliminary reports, he said.
Turkey, as a guarantor nation for the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC), is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with two drilling vessels, Fatih and Yavuz, along with Oruc Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa seismic vessels in the same region.
The country's deep-sea drillings have gained momentum through three-dimensional seismic data that has evaluated nearly 37 thousand kilometers in the Eastern Mediterranean up to now, resulting in plans to drill another five wells with the vessels in 2020.
- Nuclear power
Donmez also elaborated on Turkey's nuclear power plant plans. The country's first plant, the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in southern Turkey, is on schedule for realization with its first reactor due to come online in 2023, the same year as the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic.
He also confirmed that Japan, the major partner for Turkey's second plant, Sinop Nuclear Power Plant project to the country's north, has conducted feasibility studies. However, he clarified that the ministry found that the feasibility report concluded that the project was both too lengthy and expensive.
He noted that location surveys for the country's third plant are ongoing.
- Environment and climate change efforts
Donmez said that they would continue to contribute to environmental conservation and combat climate change efforts, along with developed countries, which are expected to make the biggest contributions to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
For Turkey's part, the minister specified that thanks to the boost of electricity production plants from renewable sources, 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions will be prevented in 2019, and this amount will reach more than 18 million tonnes by 2023.
Reporting by Murat Temizer
Writing by Ebru Sengul