President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced yesterday that the official opening of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP), which will deliver Azeri gas to Turkey, will take place in early June. Speaking during a joint press conference with Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan said the two countries will launch new projects in the upcoming period. "We will open TANAP, the biggest project at the moment, in the near future. Hopefully, it will take place in early June. TANAP, an important part of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), will contribute to the energy security of the whole of Europe," the president said.
President Erdoğan also said Azerbaijan is becoming the biggest investor in Turkey. "Moving our economic and commercial relations forward is a priority. We took an important step today," he added.
Meanwhile, TANAP General Manager Saltuk Düzyol said last week that the project was 93.5 percent complete while work on the rest of the pipeline continues at full speed.TANAP's first release point will be western Anatolian city Eskşehir's Compressor and Metering Station.
TANAP is the most important part of the SGC, a multinational European Commission project to transfer gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Gas Field in the Caspian Sea to European markets to reduce the continent's dependency on Russian gas.With the completion of the last leg of the SGC, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the project will be complete.
As part of tests, the first gas was compressed on Jan. 30, while the part of the pipeline that extends to Eskişehir is now fully filled with gas.
During the most intensive period of construction, the project provided jobs for some 13,000 people, of which 7,000 people are still involved in the construction work.
The project cost was first estimated at $11.7 billion, but with some successful procurement, project management and financial management, it has been brought down to to $7.99 billion, Düzyol said.Project partners received $3.75 billion in loans from international finance corporations and the European Union provided a grant of $10.2 million.
The TANAP general manager also pointed out that the pipes used in the project were supplied by six Turkish manufacturers. "Eighty percent of the pipes used in the project were purchased from Turkish suppliers, while 20 percent were imported from China," Düzyol said.
Currently, TANAP has four partners. The SGC holds a 58 percent stake in TANAP, while Turkey's Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) and BP own 30 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Seven percent of SGC's stake has been recently transferred to the Turkish subsidiary of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR).
The project has one entrance on the Turkey-Georgia border, Düzyol said. "TANAP is designed to carry gas extracted from Azeri fields, located in the east of the country. But given that some adjustments were made in the agreement with the host government, natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean and Iraq might also be integrated to this pipeline in the coming years," he said.
Turkey imports some 6.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas from Azerbaijan via the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline and the amount will go up to 12.6 bcm as TANAP brings in an additional 6 bcm of natural gas. Therefore, the share of Russian gas in Turkey's energy imports will decrease.
TANAP will initially provide 2 bcm of natural gas before gradually reaching 6 bcm by the end of June 2021.