Azerbaijan’s president on Tuesday hailed the historic Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project as a “profound political decision”.
Speaking at TANAP’s opening ceremony in the central Turkish city of Eskisehir, Ilham Aliyev said that the project is a manifestation of Turkey and Azerbaijan in the region and thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his efforts to realize this great project.
He also mentioned similar projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelines in 2006 and 2007.
“Today we wrote the energy history of the 21st century. This is the day of unity. Our projects will bring stability to our region,” he underscored.
Stressing the notable relationship between Turkey and his country, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also said TANAP is not only between Turkey and Azerbaijan but is a significant project in the region.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the opening of the gas pipeline guarantees Turkey’s transatlantic role.
"After this phase, the entire region has now reached greater energy security," he stated.
Its geographical location has made Turkey an ideal energy center that bridges the rich resources of the east to the western regions, said Mustafa Akinci, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
"I believe that the TANAP project is a genuine example of remarkable cooperation for our time," he stressed.
- TANAP at a glance
TANAP is a natural gas pipeline stretching from the Turkish-Georgian border to the Turkish-Greek border to supply natural gas to both Turkey and also European countries.
The 1,850-kilometer pipeline is the largest section of the 3,500-km Southern Gas Corridor, which was inaugurated on May 29 in Baku.
TANAP, with around $8 billion in investment, will deliver 6 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas to Turkey and 10 billion to Europe per year. The European part of the project is expected to be operational in 2020.
The TANAP project has seen the employment of around 13,000.
The estimated investment cost was $11.7 billion at the start of the project, but this figure has been revised down to $7.99 billion.
Currently, the Southern Gas Corridor Company holds a 51 percent share, Turkey's BOTAS has a 30 percent interest, BP holds 12 percent, and SOCAR Turkey has the remaining 7 percent.
TANAP will be followed by an 878-km cross-border natural gas pipeline, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). TAP is currently under construction, stretching from the Greek-Turkish border crossing Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy. At its entry point, TAP will connect to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) in Turkey.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) in March approved €932 million ($1.15 billion) in financing for TANAP.
By Baris Seckin