World Bulletin / News Desk
Progress for the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project is right on track, TANAP General Manager Saltuk Duzyol said in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Speaking at the World Energy Congress, of which Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner for 2016, Duzyol said that TANAP is a part of a natural gas supply chain.
"We firstly want to complete the first Turkey-Georgia border part of the project, which we will finish in 2018," said Duzyol, adding that the second part from Eskisehir to the Greek border will be finished by the end of 2019.
Duzyol underlined that the project is one of high technology that will benefit other countries including Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
"Other gas supply sources in the region like Iraq and eastern Mediterranean gas can also fill the TANAP pipeline system in the future," Duzyol added.
Bulgarian Deputy Energy Minister Zhecho Stankov also stressed the importance of the southern gas corridor.
"The southern gas corridor which will carry Caspian natural gas to Europe, is a beneficial project for all of us. Numerous companies and governments have come together for this project," Stankow said adding that maximum effort was exerted for connections in the project.
Energy Researcher, from Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), Erdal Tanas Karagol, said that Turkey can become an energy-trading center through the southern gas corridor rather than a transit country.
"TANAP is the main route to the southern corridor and will give an incentive to other suppliers to start new projects. I think the Turkish Stream is the realization of this," he said.
Karagol affirmed that Turkey is surrounded by significant suppliers including, Turkmenistan, Iraq and Eastern Mediterranean sources which can act as alternative sources of supply to boost the southern gas corridor.
"Iran needs new markets to sell its energy and wishes to have better relations with foreign markets. Turkmenistan is another key country which aims to have more contact with external markets to its east and west along with Azerbaijan in the Caspian region," he noted.
The Southern Gas Corridor, which plans to carry Azeri gas all the way to Italy, is critical for Europe's future energy needs and for lowering dependence on Russian gas and TANAP project will become the longest branch of this corridor.
The project is planned to be operational in 2018 with an initial capacity to carry 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Azeri gas through Georgia to Turkey.
While 6 bcm will be for Turkey's domestic gas consumption, the rest is destined for transfer to Greece, Albania, and Italy and further into Europe.
TANAP's total capacity is planned to increase to 23 bcm by 2023 and to 31 bcm by 2026.
Azeri energy giant Socar holds a 58 percent share interest in TANAP while Turkey's BOTAS has a 30 percent share while BP owns a 12 percent stake.