The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP), of which the foundation was laid in the Selim district of the Kars province in 2015, is to be inaugurated on June 12.
TANAP has the feature of being one of the most important energy projects being actualized in Turkey, while simultaneously being a strategic project that will give direction to regional energy policies. Moreover, due to it being completed in a period during the past three years, it comes to the fore as a visionary project of Turkey in its recent process of becoming an "energy trade center."
Obviously, TANAP's inauguration will trigger new major energy projects as well as positively contribute to Turkey's role in the eyes of energy investors.
Why is TANAP significant?
Natural gas reserves that are to be drilled out of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field, anticipated to be transported to Europe via Turkey with TANAP, an important part of the Southern Gas Corridor which will put Turkey in a central country position that transports natural resources from the Caspian region to world markets.
TANAP, which has attracted quite the attention of other resource-rich countries that want to expand to global energy markets, offers significant opportunities to Turkey, which wants to procure various countries in energy imports today, as well as to European countries particularly.
Though TANAP seems to be a natural gas pipeline extending from Azerbaijan to Europe, it opens a main natural gas corridor in the east to west direction in its route.
On the other hand, the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline Project, an extension of TANAP which is within the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), will ensure a wider area of maneuver for EU member states and Turkey regarding natural gas dependence on Russia.
Most importantly, it is also possible that actors like Turkmenistan, Iraq, Iran and Eastern Mediterranean countries that have rich energy resources will join this corridor with TANAP.
This process will contribute to the formation of competitive conditions as well as increasing Turkey's strategic importance in the region by turning the country from an energy corridor into an energy trade center.
Where does TANAP pass through?
The total length of TANAP, which stretches from the Shah Deniz to Georgia and is planned to enter Turkey from the Turkgozu border gate, is 1850 kilometers long in its Turkey leg.
This pipeline, in which a total of 1.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas is to be supplied from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 field, is intended to reach a capacity of 16 billion cubic meters of gas in 2020, 23 billion in 2023 and 31 billion in 2026.
The project is on a route that extends from the Turkey-Georgia border to the Turkey-Greece border. TANAP's starting point is the Turkgozu village, located in the Posof district of the Ardahan province in Turkey, which passes through 20 cities - Ardahan, Kars, Erzurum, Erzincan, Bayburt, Gümüşhane, Giresun, Sivas, Yozgat, Kırşehir, Kırıkkale, Ankara, Eskişehir, Bilecik, Kütahya, Bursa, Balıkesir, Çanakkale, Tekirdağ, Edirne, and ends in the Ipsala district on the Greek border.
After this point, TANAP is connected to the TAP (Trans Adriatic gas pipeline), which will transfer natural gas to European countries. Therefore, TANAP and TAP will be the most important rings of the corridor, which will form the first energy line from the Caspian to Europe, will be the road to the west for Asia and the Middle East.
TANAP is an important project for Turkey, which is in the process of becoming an "energy trade center," and it will create an impact on reducing the cost of energy imports by putting Turkey in a strategic position between the East and West.
While Turkey takes on the task of being an ''energy trade center'' among energy consuming and producing countries, on the other hand, it becomes both an energy actor and the heart of the energy market by being a partner in these projects.