Turkey and Azerbaijan agreed to natural gas supplies from Turkey to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez and Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov on Tuesday.
The new 85-kilometer-long gas pipeline will run from Igdir in Turkey's eastern Anatolia to Sederek in western Azerbaijan, with an annual capacity of 500 million cubic meters (mcm) and 1.5 mcm daily.
The project will be realized through a partnership between Turkey’s crude oil and natural gas pipeline trading company (BOTAS) and Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR.
"With this pipeline, we will be able to meet the current total gas demand of Nakhchivan," Donmez said at the signing ceremony in the capital Ankara.
With a population of 500,000 and natural gas consumption of 500 mcm, Donmez said that Nakhchivan would be supplied with as much reliable natural gas as before the Karabakh occupation.
In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory -- including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions -- has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
Shahbazov said the new MoU would play a crucial role in developing and expanding the already-strong relationship between the two countries.
He reiterated that natural gas is already being supplied to Nakhchivan through Iran. However, he said now thanks to the new pipeline, Azerbaijan's gas will be directly transmitted to the region.
Reporting by Murat Temizer
Writing by Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu