Phase one of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) pipeline from Azerbaijan to Europe is to start operations in July and may be expanded after it becomes fully operational in 2020, reports Reuters citing Azeri state energy company SOCAR.
SGC’s three pipelines - the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the South Caucasus Pipeline through Georgia and the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) through Turkey - will offer the first direct route for transporting gas from Azerbaijan’s major Shah Deniz field to Europe.
“We will start first commercial supplies of gas to Turkey (through TANAP) in early July this year,” Vitaly Baylarbayov, SOCAR deputy vice president, told Reuters.
TAP, the 870 kilometre final stage of the $40bn corridor, has encountered protests from environmentalists in Italy.
The European Investment Bank sanctioned a $1.9bn loan for TAP earlier this month and Baylarbayov said the operators would carry on seeking funding for the project.
“We can say now that the (SGC) pipeline will be put into operation on time, in 2020,” Baylarbayov said.