Georgia, Azerbaijani & Turkey Inaugurate Historic TANAP Project

Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey officially inaugurated the historic Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project in Ipsala, Turkey’s Edirne province, on November 30.

The Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia, together with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, participated in the official event dedicated to the completion of the project.

“The leaders of the countries participating in the project jointly pressed a button to launch natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe for the first time within this project,” the Georgian PM’s Press Office reports.

Prior to the ceremony, a video clip highlighting the implementation of the TANAP project, which is one of the most important segments of the Southern Gas Corridor and a key factor in ensuring the energy security of Europe, was screened.

“Honored to attend TANAP Inauguration Ceremony for European Connection, marking a new era in European energy security architecture. This project will bring more opportunities for our people & will strengthen our region’s role as an East-West energy corridor,” Georgian PM tweeted after the official ceremony.

Gakharia stated that this project underlines Georgia’s transit function even more and it is very important for the country to fulfill the function and role of a bridge not only in terms of economics, politics, society and culture, but also in terms of energy too.

“When the TANAP project has already reached the European borders and allows the transportation of Azerbaijani gas through Georgia, of course, Georgia’s transit function gains both a political and economic dimension for strengthening and developing our economy,” the PM noted.

During the event, the Turkish President noted that the TANAP is the most important part of the 3,500-kilometer (2,174-mile) energy corridor which extends from Azerbaijan to Europe. He added that Bulgaria, Greece, North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina would also benefit from the mega project, and that TANAP was a project of “regional peace.”

Azerbaijani President Aliyev said the TANAP is an international cooperation project that essentially unites seven countries on the Southern Gas Corridor. “This project brings cooperation, stability, and long-term agreement,” he added.

TANAP is the most important link of the Southern Gas Corridor, designed to transport natural gas produced from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz-2 field initially to Turkey and onwards to Europe. The section of pipeline from the Turkish border with Georgia until Eskisehir of Turkey was launched in an international opening ceremony on June 12, 2018 with the flow of commercial gas to Turkey from June 30, 2018. The final mechanical work in the pipeline between Eskisehir and the Turkish-Greek border was completed at the end of 2018 with the first test pumping held in April 2019.

The legal framework for the TANAP project was established in 2012. The final investment decision on the project was adopted on December 17, 2013. The construction work began in 2015 following the ground-breaking ceremony in Kars.

The first phase of TANAP from the Turkish-Georgian border to Eskisehir was completed in June 2018. Its opening ceremony was held on June 12, 2018 and attended by the leaders of the two countries. Transportation of the first commercial gas to Turkey began on June 30, 2018. The second phase of the project from Eskisehir to Turkish-Greek border was successfully completed by the end of June 2019. At the first stage, 16 billion cubic meters and later 31 billion cubic meters of natural gas will be transported through the pipeline.

As of today, Georgia gets 5% of the total gas for the transit of Azerbaijani gas to Turkey. The transit gas fee amounts to 300 million cubic meters of natural gas per year for Georgia for the transit of 6 billion cubic meters of gas transported from Azerbaijan to Turkey. In future, when 23 billion cubic meters of natural gas will pass through the Southern Gas Corridor via Georgia, the country will receive more than 1.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas as a transit fee annually.

By Tea Mariamidze

Image source: Georgian government

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