Azerbaijan inaugurates European gas pipeline
“With this project we are creating a new energy map of Europe,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in a nationally televised ceremony where he turned on the taps at Sangachal Terminal, located 55 kilometers (35 miles) southwest of the capital Baku, as quoted by AFP.
The Southern Gas Project (SGC) aims to transport gas 3,500 kilometers from the Caspian Sea to Europe just as the West is looking to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.
The $40-billion (35-billion-euro) project consists of three linked pipelines that will bring gas from the vast Azerbaijani Shah Deniz 2 field across Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy.
By 2020, the Southern Gas Corridor is expected to bring around 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe a year. Another 6 billion cubic meters of gas will go to Turkey.
The South Caucasus Pipeline from Azerbaijan will transport gas to Turkey, where it will feed into Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline, or TANAP.
TANAP: A historic project
“TANAP is a historic project and our cooperation played a great role in the completion of this project,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a letter sent to the opening of the Southern Gas Corridor, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
“An event will be held in the Turkish province of Eskişehir on the launch of TANAP. I believe that other elements of the SGC will successfully be launched,” he added.
The TANAP project will enter into service as of June 12, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said on May 11.
The opening ceremony is set to be held with the attendance of Erdoğan and Aliyev.
From Turkey, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline will take the gas on to Italy.
The total investment in Shah Deniz 2 and pipeline infrastructure is more than $40 billion.
Aliyev praised support from the United States, Britain and the European Union and noted “strong regional cooperation between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia” in building the pipeline.
“This project takes into account the interests of everyone - suppliers of gas, transit countries and consumers,” Aliyev said.
“If it were not for the balance of interests then the project would not exist,” he said at the ceremony attended by Western dignitaries.