SOCAR partners to start funding TANAP next month

By: Nigar Orujova

The Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR’s partners will start to finance their shares in the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline project on April 1, company’s president, Rovnag Abdullayev said.

He told reporters on March 19 that the TANAP consortium will begin construction of the pipeline’s onshore section before late March.

Abdullayev said three companies – Fernas Insaat A.S., Sicim-Yuksel-Akkord Adi Ortakligi and Tekfen Insaat ve Tesisat A.S. – are the contractors on the construction of TANAP’s onshore part, which is to be 1,337 kilometers long.

“The three companies will build a section of the pipeline up to the city of Eskisehir,” he added.

“Then, in late 2015 – early 2016, we will complete a tender for the construction of TANAP’s remaining section of 48 inches diameter. We decided to hold it [the tender] later, as the first gas, to go via the gas pipeline, will be received by Turkey in the city of Eskisehir,” Abdullayev said.

The gas will go to Europe via a 48-inch part of the pipeline in late 2019 – early 2020, so there is no reason to hurry with the construction of this section, he noted.

SOCAR’s head also noted that there are no problems with the financing of the TANAP construction project.

A groundbreaking ceremony for TANAP was held in Turkey on March 17. The project envisages the transportation of gas of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey.

TANAP will pump gas from the vast Azerbaijani Shah Deniz 2 field to Turkish and European Union consumers.

The 1,850 km-length TANAP project, which is due to be completed in 2018, will link the existing South Caucasus Pipeline, which connects Turkey to the Azerbaijani gas fields in the Caspian Sea, through Georgia.

According to a partnership agreement, Azerbaijan’s SOCAR and Turkey’s Botas will hold 58 percent and 30 percent stakes respectively in the project, while energy giant BP will have a 12 percent share.

The pipeline should help Turkey and EU countries reduce their dependence on gas imports from Russia by exploiting the Shah Deniz 2 field, which according to BP, will produce 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year.