Azeri natural gas will reach Greece by end-2006 via Turkey
Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said that Azeri natural gas would reach Greece via Turkey by end of 2006 and it
would eventually reach Italy too.
"At the end of the year, Turkey will send Azeri natural gas to Greece," Guler told a gathering of Turkish investors, adding, "from there it would eventually go to Italy."
Guler said that Turkey would add to the security Europe's future energy supply, stating, "We are enriching Europe."
The pipeline is part of Turkey's larger plan to become a regional hub between Europe and the natural oil and gas
producers of the Caspian Sea and the Middle East. The construction of the pipeline started last July in a ceremony
held at the middle of the bridge over Evros River, the natural frontier between Greece and Turkey.
Stretching over 300 km, 209 km of which is on Turkish territory, the pipeline will transport gas from Azerbaijan and other Caucasus producers to European countries. Starting with a capacity of 3.5 bn cm per year, the pipeline will eventually be able to handle an annual 11.5 bn cm.
The cost for the Greek part has been estimated at between EUR 30-40 mm, and for the Turkish part at EUR 250 mm.
Another major project, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, which will carry Azeri oil through Georgia to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan and from there to world markets, is expected to be officially inaugurated in July.