The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), the major segment of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) that will carry Azeri gas to Turkey and Europe, is complete and ready to transport Azerbaijani gas directly to Europe as of yesterday, according to the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).
In a statement yesterday, SOCAR said after the completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the last section of the SGC, natural gas produced in Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz-2 field will be delivered to Europe via TANAP and TAP, which will increase Azerbaijan's revenue and make a major contribution to Europe's energy security.
The 1,850-kilometer pipeline will carry 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas, starting from the Turkey-Georgia border. Turkey will receive 6 billion cubic meters of this gas via TANAP, while the remaining volume will be transported to Europe through TAP.
The 4.5 billion euros ($5.1 billion) TAP will transverse Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to reach Italy. Azerbaijani gas is expected to reach European markets by 2020.
The company said TANAP, which begins in the Turkish Posof district of Ardahan, runs through 20 provinces, 67 districts and 600 villages and reaches Europe at the Greek border in the İpsala district of Edirne, is ready to deliver the first natural gas to Europe via TAP on the border of Turkey and Greece starting July 1, 2019. TANAP is the most important link of the Southern Gas Corridor, designed to transport natural gas produced from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz-2 field initially to Turkey and onward to Europe.
Dubbed the Silk Road of Energy, the historic TANAP project was officially launched on June 12 last year at a grand ceremony in the central Turkish city of Eskişehir.
The amount of gas carried to Turkey via TANAP has reached 1.8 billion cubic meters in a year.
"TANAP, which is now fully ready to transport natural gas to Europe, is the longest and widest natural gas pipeline in Turkey, Middle East and Europe. Next year, after the completion of TAP, which connects with TANAP on the Turkish-Greek border, Azerbaijan will start delivering gas to European markets," the statement by SOCAR said.
"The Southern Gas Corridor and TANAP are realities now. We launched natural gas delivery via TANAP to Turkey in a ceremony attended by the distinguished presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey last year. Today, TANAP is ready to supply natural gas to Europe, and we are expecting the work on the TAP pipeline to be completed," the statement cited Rovnag Abdullayev, president of SOCAR, as saying.
Abdullayev said during the implementation of TANAP, SOCAR and its partners saved around $5 billion, reducing the overall cost of the project by 40 percent.
According to SOCAR, the project's investment cost was estimated at $11.7 billion when the final investment decision was made. Thanks to timely purchase decisions and maximizing the management efficiency, this figure has been revised down to less than $7 billion.
SGC, Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ), BP and SOCAR Turkey own 51 percent, 30 percent, 12 percent and 7 percent of the shares in TANAP, respectively.
The legal framework for the TANAP project was established in 2012. The final investment decision on the project was adopted on Dec. 17, 2013. The construction work began in 2015 following a groundbreaking ceremony in Kars attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
The first phase of TANAP from the Turkish-Georgian border to Eskişehir was completed in June 2018. Its opening ceremony was held on June 12, 2018 and attended by the leaders of the two countries.
Transportation of the first commercial gas to Turkey began on June 30, 2018. The second phase of the project from Eskişehir to the Turkish-Greek border was successfully completed at the end of June 2019.