Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has officially opened the first sector of the South Caucasus Pipeline, which will eventually connect the Sangachal gas terminal in eastern Azerbaijan with Turkey’s Trans-Anatolian pipeline, greatly reducing Europe’s dependency on Russian gas. Mr Aliyev, speaking at the opening ceremony, said that the pipeline – part of the Southern Gas Corridor project – had created “a new European energy map.”
The Southern Gas Corridor – estimated to be costing as much as 40 billion euros – will create a 3500 km pipeline linking the Shah Deniz 2 gas field in the Caspian Sea with southern Italy. The pipeline will traverse five countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy – and comprises three sections: the South Caucasus Pipeline, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). The first deliveries of gas to Europe are due in 2020.
“Azerbaijan has 2600 billion m3 of proven gas reserves,” said Mr Aliyev. “This project has been made possible through a strong regional alliance between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.”