Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 16
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The more Europe needs energy resources, the more relevant and real the recognition of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline's importance becomes.
When Azerbaijan and Turkey announced intentions to build TANAP, most of the European countries treated it with a grain of salt.
But while Europe failed to realize the Nabucco project, Turkey and Azerbaijan are successfully implementing TANAP. The successful progress in the project is primarily due to the economic and political stability in Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Tomorrow, on March 17, the foundation for TANAP's construction will be laid in the Turkish province of Kars.
The pipeline will run in Turkey through the provinces of Ardahan, Kar, Erzurum, Erzincan, Bayburt, Gumushane, Giresun, Sivas, Yozgat, Kirsehir, Kirikkale, Ankara, Eskisehir, Bilecik, Kutahya, Bursa, Balikesir, Canakkale, Tekirdag and Edirne.
TANAP will not only ensure the energy security of Europe, but also contribute to the development of these provinces.
Furthering Turkey's business interests, the petroleum pipeline company Botas will take part in the construction of TANAP but remains completely isolated from the planned construction of the Turkish Stream.
Another important aspect in TANAP's construction is the EU's positive attitude to the project, as well as the signed shareholder agreement between BP and TANAP consortium, under which BP will become a shareholder in TANAP.
Moreover, at present, there is no alternative to TANAP. On the other hand, the more Russia is committed to the implementation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline construction project, the more controversy this project causes in Turkey.
First, there is currently no specific agreement on the final route of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.
The second moot point is which side will build the pipeline in Turkey. While the Russian side has stated that Russian "Gazprom Russkaya" company will construct the Turkish Stream, the Turkish Botas company also has expressed its intention to participate in the Turkish Stream construction.
Botas said that the company's isolation from the Turkish Stream construction is detrimental to the interests of both Turkey and the company itself.
Three pipelines are being proposed in the implementation of the Turkish Stream. One of them will be aimed at providing the Turkish market with gas.
Botas intends to include the Turkish Stream into the country's gas system and supply Russian gas to the Turkish market.
Earlier, it was reported that the Russian Savings Bank is ready to finance the Turkish Stream but so far, no significant company has shown interest in the project.
Even if Russia's Turkish Stream project is implemented, it will fail to compete with TANAP. Moreover, this project will be incomplete without Azerbaijan because even if the Turkish Stream project is implemented, the gas supplied through it will fail to enter the European market without the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is intended for supplying Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
Edited by CN
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu