Report: Turkey ends full support for Nabucco pipeline, to focus on TANAP
Turkey was no longer fully supporting the European Union-backed Nabucco pipeline project to carry Caspian gas to Europe, and is instead prioritizing its own rival TANAP project, an Energy Ministry spokesman told dpa Monday.
The spokesman confirmed that Turkey remains part of the six-country consortium backing Nabucco, but that it was now prioritizing the development of the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project (TANAP), which it is promoting in partnership with Azerbaijan.
"TANAP will be far cheaper and easier to realize than Nabucco," the spokesman said, pointing to the high cost of the Nabucco project, which involves the construction of a new 4,000-kilometre pipeline to carry up to 31 billion cubic metres of gas a year through Turkey and the Balkans to Europe's main gas hub at Baumgarten in Austria.
By contrast, he explained, TANAP will make use of Turkey's existing gas transmission lines to carry up to 16 billion cubic metres of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field as far as Turkey's borders with Greece and Bulgaria.
"TANAP will only carry the gas that is available from Azerbaijan, whereas Nabucco has to find other sources of gas in order to be commercially viable," he said.
The consortium developing the Shah Deniz gas field is expected to decide which pipeline it will use to export the gas to European markets by the end of April.
Nabucco consortium member RWE recently indicated that it had lost faith in the project, but has yet to formally leave the consortium.