Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.17
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
Azerbaijan and Turkey in a very short period of time were able to demonstrate to the whole world how in having the desire and making concerted efforts, one can implement a major project, which is very important not only for these two countries, but also the whole of Europe.
On March 17, the Turkish province of Kars hosted laying the foundation of Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP). This event is very difficult to overestimate, because never before has the EU been so close to the cherished goal of diversifying energy supplies to its market.
Start of construction of TANAP is proof of the commitment of Azerbaijan and Turkey to the task, their reliability as a manufacturer, supplier and transporter of gas.
TANAP is a very important part of the Southern Gas Corridor project: it will ensure the delivery of gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field through the Georgian-Turkish border to the western border of Turkey, opening the way for hydrocarbons to the European market.
Start of construction of TANAP marks a new milestone in the EU's energy security.
"The start of construction of TANAP is a new stage in the diversification of gas supplies to the EU," analyst of Eurasia Energy Observer business intelligence newsletter Andrej Tibold told Trend.
He said that against the background of cooling relations between the EU and Russia, the role of the TANAP construction project in the context of European energy security has been further enhanced. The analyst said that the value of the project is that it will help to ensure the supplies of strategic gas volumes to the EU countries.
Nevertheless, the Southern Gas Corridor project, as part of which the TANAP project is being implemented, is designed for delivering gas not only from Azerbaijan, but also from other countries to Europe. The possibility of increasing the capacity of both TANAP and the Trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP) will allow involvement of other sources, for example, Turkmenistan, to the Southern Gas Corridor project and thereby expand the EU's diversification list.
Another important point is that the sides are implementing the project in accordance with the set deadlines. Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to Turkey via TANAP in 2018 and after the completion of construction of TAP gas will be delivered to Europe in early 2020.
Currently, the Southern Gas Corridor project is the only real alternative for the EU. By giving it the opportunity to significantly strengthen its energy security, with Azerbaijani gas that will be delivered to European countries, which are now largely (but some of them - completely) dependent on Russian supplies.
The initial volume of Azerbaijani gas to be delivered to EU is small - 10 billion cubic meters per year. However, given the relatively small demand for gas in such countries as Bulgaria (about 2.6 billion cubic meters) and Greece (3.6 billion cubic meters), gas supplies from Azerbaijan are really vital and will help halve the import of Russian gas by replacing it with new alternative volumes.
Edited by CN
Aygun Badalova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AygunBadalova