Türkiye and Azerbaijan have agreed to double the capacity of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), a key project carrying natural gas from Azerbaijan’s gas fields to Turkish markets and eventually to Europe, a senior official announced
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said they expected to double the current transmission capacity of 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year “in the short term.”
Launched in mid-2018, TANAP is dubbed the backbone and comprises the longest stretch of the $40 billion multinational Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), a series of pipelines that carry gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to Europe.
The $6.5 billion pipeline crosses the breadth of Türkiye, east to west, and can transport up to 16 bcm of Azeri gas a year. Europe is allocated 10 bcm, with 6 bcm earmarked for the Turkish market.
The pipeline connects to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) at the Türkiye-Greece border, transferring gas to Greece, Albania and Italy.
Officials earlier said that TANAP’s capacity could be increased to more than 30 bcm with additional investment.
“After a short period, God willing, we will have doubled the current capacity to 32 billion cubic meters,” Dönmez told a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Parviz Shahbazov in Istanbul.
He stressed that the increase will benefit Türkiye and also contribute to securing energy supplies in Europe.
TANAP aims to diversify gas supplies to Europe and reduce countries’ dependence on Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine has fueled a major energy crisis.
The sharp drop in supplies from Russia, which previously supplied about 40% of the European Union’s gas needs, has left governments scrambling to find alternative energy resources and has prompted fears of possible power cuts and a recession.
Russia has reduced or cut off natural gas supplies to many nations as European governments bolstered their support for Ukraine in the form of weapons, money, aid and sanctions on Moscow.
The potential for shortages has led to surging gas and electricity prices that could climb higher as demand peaks during the winter months.
Dönmez said joint projects between Türkiye and Azerbaijan contribute to ensuring energy security, an issue emphasized by the two countries’ leaders.
For his part, Shahbazov said strong Azerbaijani-Turkish energy cooperation is a “historic necessity.”
“This cooperation is the guarantor of safe and sustainable energy supplies at the regional and European levels,” he added.