The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) will strengthen Turkey's position as a key energy country, according to Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez on Wednesday.
During the 5th Ministerial Meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) Advisory Council in Azerbaijan's capital Baku, Donmez said the pipeline, which already transfers gas to Turkey, would see its extension to the Greek border in the coming months when the project's infrastructure construction is completed.
"On June 12 last year, we witnessed the timely completion of TANAP. The first gas deliveries to Turkey occurred on June 30, 2018. Over the next few months, infrastructure works for the Greek border will be finished," he said.
The TANAP pipeline forms the backbone of the Southern Gas Corridor - a project that aims to increase and diversify European energy supply by bringing gas resources from the Caspian Sea, namely the Shah Deniz 2 gas from Azerbaijan, to markets in Europe.
"The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the most important projects demonstrating the commitment of the countries in the region," Donmez said, adding that it creates a large value chain from producer to final consumer with an investment requirement of more than $45 billion.
Donmez commended TANAP as a historical project in which Turkey's energy position in the region would be strengthened, and in which Europe would obtain more diversified supply sources.
"Azerbaijan will provide access to new markets with its supplier country position. Europe will increase the source country and route diversity," he said.
- TANAP at a glance
The 1,850 kilometers-long TANAP and the 878 kilometers-long Trans Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP) were interlinked at the Maritsa River located on the Turkey-Greece border, a statement from the TANAP company said Wednesday.
The 16 billion cubic meter capacity pipeline will deliver 6 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey per year while the remaining 10 billion cubic meters is destined for European markets via the TAP.
The TAP will transverse Greece, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea to reach Italy.
Commenting on the speed of the TANAP's construction, Donmez said he hoped the TAP project would be completed just as quickly as the TANAP.
The pipeline is expected to be ready to deliver its first gas to the European markets by mid-2020.
Reporting by Ruslan Rehimov in Baku
Writing by Murat Temizer