The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) will be completed ahead of scheduled date, if all goes as planned, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said during his visit on Thursday to the Dardanelles (Canakkale) Strait where the sub-sea section of the pipeline project is being laid.
Albayrak said that 80 percent of the project is now completed, adding, "today we have seen that 1,261 pipes were connected, which is a truly significant number, thanks to all concerned for this success."
TANAP is a natural gas pipeline, currently under construction and stretching from the Turkey-Georgia border to the Turkey-Greece border to supply natural gas both to Turkey and also to European countries.
The project will start transporting natural gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey next year and to Europe in the first quarter of 2020 via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Albayrak informed.
TANAP's initial capacity per year will be 16 billion cubic meters, out of which Turkey will utilize 6 billion cubic meters while the remaining 10 billion cubic meters will be delivered to Europe.
This project is very important for the energy security of Turkey and Europe, Albayrak said during what he termed was "one of the critical milestones of the projects" in the Dardanelles.
The Malaysian energy company SapuraKencana was awarded the engineering works for the construction and procurement of the sub-sea section of the TANAP in July 2016.
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The approximately 878 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
The project's 17.6 kilometer-long sub-sea section out of a total pipeline length of 1,850 kilometers will pass through the Dardanelles.
Reporting by Nuran Erkul
Writing by Huseyin Erdogan