TANAP to be valuable asset and new promotion for Azerbaijan
Experts believe the pipeline will be one of the most important income-generating projects for Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has completed the next regional project within the Southern Gas Corridor. The TANAP project has already been completed and is expected to open in late November. It 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. As a project, TANAP has been divided into two sections – from Turkey’s Eskisehir to Ipsala and beyond. 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. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are expected to attend the opening of the final phase of this project.
Azerbaijan has transported more than 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas via the TANAP yet. Transportation of gas to Europe will begin next year – after the completion of the TAP project. The initial capacity of the pipeline is 16 billion cubic meters of gas. About 6 billion cubic meters of this will be transported to Turkey and the rest to Europe. However, in the future, the pipeline's capacity may be increased to 24 billion cubic meters and then to 31 billion cubic meters.
"TANAP plays an important role in European energy security,” MP Tahir Rzayev told Kaspi. "Passing through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, the pipeline extends to Europe, which is very important. The project plays an essential role in terms of Azerbaijan's economy and international recognition. At the same time, TANAP will expand Azerbaijan's cooperation with other countries. The project is also very important for improving the welfare of our country’s citizens. Such projects of international importance as BTC and TANAP enhance Azerbaijan's reputation in the world and strengthen its position.”
Rzayev said anti-Azerbaijan forces voice one-sided views on TANAP. "All countries must constantly compete for their economic development. It is our success to compete with other countries in this regard and to win. If we do not succeed in international projects, then the welfare of the Azerbaijani citizens will not be good and the country will not develop,” he noted.
"Export of Azerbaijani gas would be impossible without TANAP,” said Ilham Shaban, head of the Oil Research Center. "Most likely, the Southern Gas Corridor would not exist as well. The point is that Azerbaijan caught ‘the rhythm of the energy game’, and at the end of 2011 took an unexpected turn for the West and announced that it would build infrastructure together with brotherly Turkey and did it successfully. When the world energy market declined in 2015, jobs were cut and capital costs were minimized. That year, construction work over TANAP began, which led to various articles in the neighboring countries’ media against TANAP. Moreover, Russia was planning to supply gas to Europe by the end of 2017, after completing the TurkStream. On the other hand, Turkmenistan began construction of a gas infrastructure called TAPI with a capacity of 33 billion cubic meters per year in 2015. The pipeline had to go through the Afghanistan-Pakistan-India route starting this year. But so far, no gas pipeline has been built in Turkmenistan.”
The expert underlined that it is commendable that Azerbaijan, along with its partners, has implemented a mega infrastructure outside its borders. "It is not just because the project has saved up to $5 billion in the capital as the major gain is ahead. For the first time, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan has acted as a pipeline operator abroad. Thus, TANAP will be a valuable asset and a new promotion for Azerbaijan. TANAP will be the most important project to bring income to Azerbaijan. Its revenues may exceed the dividends brought by Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan to Azerbaijan. Note that BTC is currently generating around $100 million a year, while TANAP's revenues are expected to be 6-7 times higher,” Shaban said.