Nabucco project still significant to Turkey

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 1 / Trend A. Taghiyeva /

The Nabucco gas pipeline will play an important role in enhancing Turkey's role as an energy corridor, according to Arzu Yorkan of the Turkish Bilgesam Center for Strategic Studies.

Speaking to Trend today, Ms Yorkan said: "Any suggestion that Nabucco is losing significance for Turkey is wrong, because this project is the best alternative route of energy supplies to Europe."

Earlier this week, a Turkish Energy Ministry representative told DPA that despite the fact that Turkey is still one of the six members of the Nabucco consortium, the country's priority is the development of the Trans Anadolu (TANAP) gas pipeline project.

TANAP is an Azerbaijani-Turkish project to construct a gas pipeline from the eastern to the western border of Turkey.

Azerbaijan and Turkey have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a consortium that will build a gas pipeline from the Shah Deniz field to Europe through Turkish territory.
The construction of the TANAP gas pipeline is required for the exportation of most of the 50 billion cubic meters of gas that Azerbaijan intends to extract by 2025.

The project participants plan to resolve all issues relating to this pipeline during 2012 and begin construction by late 2017, when the implementation of the second stage of the Shah Deniz field development is launched. This gas pipeline will be the basis of the Southern Gas Corridor.

Ms Yorkan said the Nabucco project is very important from a strategic point of view as countries including Iraq and Egypt expressed an early interest in participating in it.

The Nabucco project is the only gas pipeline project aimed at ensuring the energy security of Europe which Middle Eastern countries have expressed a desire to participate in.

"Turkey has done a lot for the implementation of the Nabucco project and it's wrong to think that at the present stage the country will stop supporting this project," said Ms Yorkan.

The TANAP project is not a competitor to Nabucco either in terms of capacity or strategy, she added.

Yorkan also noted that the only reason for the delay in implementing the Nabucco gas pipeline is the economic crisis in Europe.

The Nabucco gas pipeline is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to Europe. Construction is planned to start in 2013 and its first supplies are scheduled for 2017.

The total length of the pipeline will be 3,900 kilometers with a maximum capacity of 31 billion cubic meters per year. The project's partners include the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and the German RWE.

Gas produced during the second stage of the Shah Deniz field development is to be the main source for the Nabucco project.

On Oct. 1, Nabucco, along with other pipeline projects (TAP, ITGI), submitted their final proposals to the Azerbaijani side, which will review them in accordance with previously announced criteria.

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