ANKARA, March 17. /TASS/. The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) is a unique project for the whole Eurasian region, the president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the project opening ceremony held in the Turkish town of Kars.
"Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and the Eurasia on the whole need such a project as TANAP. Further to the economic input, it will contribute to peace and prosperity in the region. We continue implementing various energy projects with other nations also. However, TANAP is a unique one from the viewpoint of its geography and tasks. TANAP has no alternatives," Ergodan said.
The national government plans to turn Turkey into a strong regional interconnector for oil and natural gas. The port of Ceyhan has already become one of the most important energy hubs. Its importance will only grow along with normalization of the situation in Iran and Turkey, the president of Turkey said.
The construction opening ceremony was also attended by leaders of Azerbaijan and Georgia Ilham Aliev, and Giorgi Margvelashvili.
TANAP is a major energy project regarded as a strategic one by Turkey. The natural gas pipeline is intended for delivery of the natural gas from Shah Deniz-2 field in Azerbaijan via Georgia and Turkey to borders of Greece and Bulgaria. The project value is estimated at $10 billion. The natural gas transportation is planned to start in 2018 at 16 billion cubic meters a year. The pipeline capacity will grow to the estimated 31 billion cubic meters a year by 2026. TANAP is expected to cover up to 20% of EU demands for the natural gas. In line with the TANAP partnership agreement 58% in the project are held by the Azerbaijani state-owned SOCAR, 30% by Turkish Botas, and 12% by BP.
TASS reported earlier TANAP will not compete with the Russia’s Turkish Stream project, Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said.
Turkey is implementing various projects with Azerbaijan, Russia, and Iraq. We are continuing negotiations on the Turkish Strait with the Russian side and the degree of our interest in it has not changed. We need the TANAP and the Turkish Strait, Yildiz said.