Construction of a Turkey-Greece Pipeline is Complete
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend S.Babayeva / The construction of a Turkey-Greece pipeline that will carry natural gas from the Caspian Sea Basin, Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe is complete, Today's Zaman reports.
The River Meric "trans pass," which was the project's last phase of construction, was completed with attendance of Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and Greek Energy Minister Dimitris Siou on Saturday. The project was completed 20 days earlier than expected. The pipeline will be extended to Italy from Greece. Minister Guler said the pipeline would transport 250 million cubic meters of natural gas for the first year and is expected to up to 3 billion cubic meters in later years. The Turkey-Greece pipeline is viewed as an important alternative energy route for Europe, which is trying to decrease its energy dependence on Russia.
While mainly Azeri gas is planned to be transported through the pipeline, the transportation of Egyptian and Iranian gas through the pipeline is also on the agenda.
Although the construction of the project has been completed, the natural gas will begin to flow after September this year due to some technical problems on Greek side of the pipeline.
The agreement for the transportation of natural gas was signed between state-owned companies -- Turkish Pipeline Company (BOTA?) and Greek state-owned gas company DEPA -- on Dec. 23, 2003. The signed deal stipulated that both countries were responsible for building their own pipeline in their respective countries. The deal aims to transport gas from the Caspian Sea basin, the Middle East and other peripheries to the Greek and European markets via Turkey.
The pipeline starts at Karacabey in Bursa, passing beneath the Marmara Sea and entering Greek territory at Ypsala. The total length of the pipeline is 300 kilometers, and 209 kilometers of it is in Turkey. The portion of the gas line, which ends at Komotini, located under the Marmara Sea is 17 kilometers in length.