Turkmen President sees trans-Caspian gas pipeline finished in 2002

May 29, 1999 02:00 AM

Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov has said that he expected the trans-Caspian gas pipeline to begin carrying gas from Central Asia to Turkey in 2002.
Other sources have said that the pipeline could not be finished before 2003, but Niyazov said he believed Turkmenistan would be able to start sending its gas to Turkey sooner.
The gas supply deal signed between Ashgabat and Ankara last week may help put the project in motion, as the pipeline builders -- a consortium called PSG International, headed by Bechtel and General Electric of the United States -- will have a hard time securing financing unless sales of gas pumped through the line are guaranteed.
The supply deal provides for Turkey to buy up to 16 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas per year. Ankara will also let up to 14 billion cubic meters more pass over Turkish territory on its way to Europe. The pipeline will carry only 5-10 billion cubic of gas per year in its first years of operation.

PSG is planning to build the line alonga 2,000-km route from the Turkmen port of Turkmenbashi to the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum. The first 300-km stretch of pipe will be laid beneath the bed of the Caspian Sea, and the overland section will cross through Azerbaijan and Georgia, following the planned route of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

Source: NewsBase
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