Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 19
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
Although the fate of the Russian initiated project 'Turkish Stream' has yet to be solved, European countries are already taking steps to extend it across Europe.
Recent reports by Russian media said the foreign ministers of Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece might sign a memorandum this autumn for construction of a gas pipeline named 'Tesla', which is seen as a continuation of the 'Turkish Stream'.
The new gas pipeline, with a length of 1,300-1,400 km and the estimated capacity of 27 billion cubic meters, will be laid from Turkey to Austria's Baumgarten hub.
This route is very similar to the project for the 'Nabucco West' gas pipeline, or as it was called, the Nabucco 2.0.
The said project was a new concept of the 'Nabucco' project, involving the construction of the 1,300-km long pipeline from the border of Turkey and Bulgaria to Baumgarten through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria.
Ultimately, the project was abandoned after another project, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, was chosen to transport Azerbaijani gas to European markets. But the concept of Nabucco still has not lost relevance, and such countries as Bulgaria and Hungary have expressed their desire to resume the project.
It may seem that the above-mentioned Tesla project will be a rival of TAP, which will pass through the territory of Greece and Albania to Italy, and can provide Hungary, Serbia and Macedonia with gas as well through internal interconnects. But on the other hand, how can the new project serve as a route to supply alternative gas to Europe when The "Turkish Stream" may not be implemented at all. Given existing controversies between Russia and Turkey, the fate of this project is questionable.
The Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP), being laid from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western border of Turkey, will be ready in 2018. TANAP is designed to supply gas from the second stage of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field to Turkey and Europe. TANAP has an opportunity to expand its capacity to 31 billion cubic meters per year. So, gas can be transported from other fields of Azerbaijan through the pipeline in the future. Turkmenistan, Iraq and Iran can also be the potential sources for TANAP.
Hungary, a participant of the project, said that the Tesla gas pipeline is designed not only for Russian gas. A representative of the Hungarian foreign ministry told Vedomosti newspaper that plans are for gas to be supplied to Tesla not only from the Turkish Stream, but also the TANAP gas pipeline.
Thus, Europe will provide itself not only with an alternative route, but alternative gas supply sources through the construction of a new gas pipeline. Of course, today this is more important.
Edited by CN
Trend commentator Aygun Badalova
Aygun Badalova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AygunBadalova