No delay expected for TurkStream: Turkish energy min.

Albayrak does not foresee delay to TurkStream's schedule for completion by end 2019 as per Gazprom's announcement

Ersin Çelik
14:03 - 26/10/2016 Çarşamba
Update: 11:04 - 26/10/2016 Çarşamba

Turkey does not foresee a delay to the scheduled timetable for the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project announced by the Russian project partner Gazprom's chairman who said the two lines would be ready by the end of 2019, Berat Albayrak, Turkey's energy minister, said Wednesday.

Speaking at Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk in Ankara, Albayrak said that the TurkStream, whose intergovernmental agreement was signed on Oct.10 in Istanbul, would be a win-win project for Turkey.

Russia announced two new pipeline projects for Europe in the last few years - the TurkStream and NordStream II, Albayrak explained.

"Turkey sometimes has problems in receiving Russian gas via the Western line through Ukraine, and that is one of the reasons why Russia developed the infrastructure [for the TurkStream] and announced a project in accordance with its regional energy politics."

He also stressed that the TurkStream would not only supply Turkey, but would serve Europe as the second line of the project is planned to transfer gas to the southern European markets.

Relations between Turkey and Russia were severely damaged when two Turkish F-16 fighter jets on an aerial patrol shot down a Russian warplane late November. After a nine-month hiatus in relations, both countries decided to reconcile and relations improved.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Istanbul to participate in the World Energy Congress which was held between Oct. 9 and 13.

"The process for the TurkStream slowed down due to the crisis on Nov. 24 between Russia and Turkey. But now everything is back on track," Albayrak said.

The minister hailed the importance of the project in having a positive effect on relations in the region and in eliminating potential gas supply delays or stoppages from the Western line via Ukraine.

"There is a plan to start construction in 2017 and to complete by 2019. We don't foresee any delay for its completion," he noted.

The project, announced by Putin during a December 2014 visit to Turkey, will carry gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Turkey's Thrace region and potentially to Europe through a second line.

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