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Turkey Launches $10b TANAP Pipeline Project
Energy

Turkey Launches $10b TANAP Pipeline Project

Turkey inaugurated a $10 billion project to pipe Azeri gas to western markets on Tuesday. The Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) aims to carry 16 billion cubic meters of gas a year by mid-2018 from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea, one of the world's largest gas fields.
The 1,850 km pipeline will stretch from Turkey's border with Georgia to Greece and is key to Turkey's ambition to cut its own dependence on Russian gas, Reuters reported.
Ankara raised its stake in the project to 30 percent last year. Azeri state-oil firm SOCAR holds 58 percent, while BP has the remaining 12 percent. "We plan to establish Turkey as the energy distribution hub of the region," President Tayyip Erdogan said at a ground breaking ceremony in the northeastern city of Kars.
Russia abandoned its $40 billion South Stream project through which it aimed to deliver gas to Europe while bypassing Ukraine. Ankara's response to the project, which envisages piping gas to a hub on the Turkish-Greek border, has been lukewarm. Energy officials have said TANAP remains their priority.
Initially, Turkey will buy the first 6 bcm per year of gas from TANAP. A further 10 bcm will be delivered to Europe once it is connected to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) by 2020. By 2023, TANAP's capacity will rise to 23 bcm per year and then to 31 bcm by 2026, according to project executives.
Caught off guard by Russia's surprise decision to ditch South Stream and its proposal to work with Turkey to build an alternative route, the European Union has repeatedly urged Moscow not to exclude it from the plans.

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