Azerbaijan’s Aliyev opens TANAP gas pipeline

BAKU/Nov. 30 (The Bulletin) –Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan officially marked the completion of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) which will pump gas from the South Caucasus across Turkey to Europe.

TANAP is the longest section of the 3,500km-long $38b Southern Gas Corridor. The first section connecting the BP-operated Shah Deniz II gas field in the Caspian Sea to Erdine, in eastern Turkey has already been open and next year the final section, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, running across Greece and the Balkans to Italy, will open.

In a speech in Ipsala, on the Turkey-Greece border, Mr Aliyev said that the project, which will give Azerbaijan’s economy a major boost through gas sales, was more than just a gas transit pipeline.

“This project leads to cooperation, stability, long-term mutual understanding, and it would be wrong to consider these projects simply as energy projects,” he said according to a statement on his website.

Construction of the pipeline, one of the world’s longest energy pipeline was started four years ago and has had the financial backing of European countries, the EU and various financial institutions such as the EBRD.

European countries want an alternative energy source to Russia, which has been their primary provider of gas.

When the Southern Gas Corridor does open next year it will pump an estimated 10b cubic metres of gas to Europe, enough power for up to 10m households.
TANAP’s shareholders are Azeri state energy company Socar with a 51% stake, Turkish pipeline operator BOTAS with a 30% stake, BP with 12% and Socar Turkey with 7%.

— This story was first published in issue 431 of the weekly Bulletin on Dec. 9 2019

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