Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extolled the benefits of the Trans-Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline Project in an article he wrote for the latest issue of The Diplomat magazine.
In the article “TANAP: Regional Development and Peace Project” published in collaboration with the New York Times, Erdogan emphasized that TANAP is a regional peace project.
“TANAP is a concrete example of the long-lasting trust and friendship between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia. It constitutes the main leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, which aims to take the Hazar region’s natural gas to Europe through Turkey and Georgia. It is the most important piece of a 3,500-kilometer long corridor.”
Erdogan said Turkey’s process of change over the last 18 years created a suitable environment for channeling energy resources from this region to Turkey and Europe.
“Thanks to our cooperation with Azerbaijan and Georgia, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline was launched and commissioned in 2006. Later, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Natural Gas Pipeline was put into operation in 2007 to transport the natural gas produced at Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to Georgia and Turkey.”
“The first steps for TANAP were taken with an Intergovernmental Agreement signed on 25 October 2011 by Turkey and Azerbaijan. As a result of subsequent negotiations and thanks to the support of both Georgia’s and Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz Field partners, the Intergovernmental Agreement and the Host Government Agreement of TANAP were signed on 26 June 2012 by Turkey and Azerbaijan.
“Following the final investment decision taken by the Shah Deniz Field partners for Phase 2 of the project in December 2013, works on the extension of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Natural Gas Pipeline, passing through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey, and on the construction of TANAP were accelerated. TANAP was built in a short time span of three years, after the laying of its foundation on 17 March 2015, and it began carrying gas to Turkey on 12 June 2018. In addition, the European connection of TANAP was inaugurated with a ceremony held on 30 November 2019,” Erdogan said in the article.
– Contributing to Turkey’s energy security
President Erdogan said he supported each step of the natural gas provision chain, stretching from Georgia and Turkey to Europe.
Turkey Petroleum is the second biggest investor in the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline with a 19% share. BOTAS, Turkey’s state-owned oil and gas trading company, is the second biggest investor in TANAP with a 30% share, said Erdogan.
“Turkey has a key position in the value chain of approximately $45 billion, consisting of the Shah Deniz Phase 2 Project, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Natural Gas Pipeline Extension Project, TANAP and Trans-Adriatic Natural Gas Pipeline (TAP). Turkish pipe manufacturers and construction contractors have played an important role in TANAP, which was launched with an investment of approximately $6.5 billion. TANAP, with an annual capacity of 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas transmission, starting from the Georgia-Turkey border and passing through 20 provinces, 67 districts and 600 villages, will make a significant contribution to the energy supply security of Turkey and Europe. “
Erdogan said that in the coming years, TANAP’s capacity will rise to 24 billion cubic meters and then to 32 billion cubic meters, its maximum technical capacity.
World’s energy map changing
Erdogan said Turkey is the world’s 18th largest natural gas market and adjacent to Europe, the second largest market in this context. As a result, TANAP has significant potential “in terms of delivery to Turkey and Europe of the natural gas to be produced at other natural gas fields in Azerbaijan, other Caspian resources as well as other countries of the region.”
“Beyond its contributions to energy supply security, TANAP also symbolizes the contributions of energy to regional peace – which has become a serious global issue today, due to increasing populations and growing economies. Today, the world’s energy map is changing; new actors and new cooperation models are emerging,” he said.
He said in the last two centuries, great wars have been fought for control of energy resources.
“They have had major impacts particularly on the geography where Turkey and Georgia are located. Despite not being rich in hydrocarbon resources, both countries have felt these impacts. From this point of view, TANAP is the best response given in peace and cooperation to the environment of conflict provoked by some actors over energy resources. Turkey and Georgia have used their geographical location – that is the junction point of energy producing and consuming countries – to promote an environment of peace and cooperation rather than encourage conflicts. Both countries have set an example for the entire world by making the necessary efforts to put energy resources at the disposal of humanity at a time when regional tensions and instability are growing every day.
“TANAP is the Silk Road of energy. Besides its strong and sustainable economy, peace-oriented foreign policy and stable administration approach, Turkey also neighbours rich natural gas and oil reserves due to its geographic location. So far, Turkey has acted as a secure bridge between the source countries and the consumer markets and it will continue to do so in the future,” he added.
*Writing by Firdevs Bulut
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