The 1,850 kilometer-long Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) and the 878 kilometer-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 yesterday.
Dubbed as the "Silk Road of Energy," the historic TANAP project was officially launched on June 12 at a grand ceremony in the central Turkish city of Eskişehir. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev and a number of other officials were present at the event along with energy ministers and the project's partner representatives.
TANAP, the backbone of the multinational European Commission energy project Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) delivering Shah Deniz 2 gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey and onto Europe through the TAP, brought its first gas to Turkey on July 1 this year.
The TANAP project brings gas from the Shah Deniz-2 gas field to the Turkish border through Georgia, via the South Caucasus Pipeline. It then connects to the TAP on Turkey's İpsala border, going on to deliver Azeri gas to European markets through pipes in Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Italy's south. This will help reduce Europe's dependence on Russian gas.
The project is also believed to enable other gas producers to capitalize on the Silk Road of energy, thereby reshaping global energy geopolitics.
The 16 billion cubic meter (bcm) capacity pipeline will deliver 6 bcm of gas to Turkey per year while the remaining 10 bcm is destined for European markets via the TAP.
The transmission capacity of TANAP will be increased to 24 bcm and then to 31 bcm through additional investments.
Both pipelines were welded on the Turkey-Greece border under the supervision of the projects' management.
The 4.5 billion euro TAP project is the final leg of the $40 billion SGC set to transport gas from central Asia to Western Europe. The TAP will transverse Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to reach Italy. The pipeline is expected to be ready to deliver its first gas to the European markets by mid-2020.