The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) is part of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC). It comprises four different projects (one upstream and three gas pipelines) aimed at connecting energy resources from the Caspian Sea (1.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas) with Europe across a 3,500 km route. TANAP is considered a unique project internationally due to its technical innovation, on-time construction progress, environmental sensitivity, significant contribution to European energy security, and positive impact on people’s everyday lives.
TANAP is the longest and largest (in both financial and technical terms) pipeline of the SGC, which runs from the Turkish–Georgian border to the Turkish–Greek border. The completed pipeline will be 1,850 km long, comprising 1,335 km of pipe with a diameter of 56″, 496 km with a diameter of 48″, and 19 km 2 pipelines with a diameter of 36″ , passing through the Sea of Marmara. Its 1,335 km of 56″ pipe feature makes TANAP the longest pipeline with such diameter in Europe and very few in the world. This particular section of the pipeline will not only accommodate and transport a large amount of gas with less resistance (16 bcm initially, and expanded to 31 bcm by 2026) but also be more environmentally friendly than the standard method of digging underground for looping. The route of this mega project passes 6,774 crossings and the highest point of construction is at 2,769 m above sea level, while the lowest point is 67 m below sea level in the offshore section. The decision to install two sections of subsea pipeline (36″ diameter) was made for environmental and security reasons. A hydraulic analysis conducted by TANAP and the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor showed that a single 36 in subsea pipeline section would be sufficient for transporting 10 bcm of gas. However TANAP’s decision to build the second operational “back-up” offshore pipeline will serve as a hedge for Europe against gas disruptions owing to possible damage from vessels in the Sea of Marmara.
TANAP not only stands out among gas pipeline projects owing to its technical features but is also unique because it has been successfully constructed under budget and on time. As of August 31, 2018, TANAP is 91% complete and under budget. While the estimated cost of the project was $11.7 billion, it has been reduced to $8.5 billion making TANAP a profitable project for investors. This success has been acknowledged by international financial institutions, which have been keen to take part in the project. In addition, the strategic importance of TANAP has been underlined by the European Commission. It has been included on the list of European Union-wide Projects of Common Interest (PCI).
Consideration of the environmental and social impacts of TANAP’s construction is crucial factors for the project team. Chief among these concerns is reducing carbon emissions. By delivering natural gas, TANAP will directly assist involved countries in meeting their reduced carbon emissions targets. Furthermore, for the expansion scenario of TANAP project by 2026, when the number of compressors doubles, TANAP has been designed to reserve and recirculate exhaust gases to produce electricity in local electricity stations. The assessment of alternatives and route selection were key focus areas for avoiding or minimizing negative environmental and social impacts while ensuring the technical feasibility of the project. As a matter of fact, environmental and social criteria were duly applied to narrow the preferred route corridor from 2 km to 500 m. The selected route allowed for avoiding the physical displacement of households along the entire corridor route.
In short, as our mission is to build and operate a secure and reliable gas pipeline system of the highest quality, with health and safety in mind, and adhering to high social and environmental standards, TANAP is ideal for being a nominee. As TANAP is considered a strategic gas infrastructure project designed to improve the security and diversity of the energy supply to Europe and Turkey, it will provide new energy transportation routes for Europe to access gas from the Caspian region and, in the longer term, will include the Eastern Mediterranean, Central Asia, and the Middle East. TANAP will provide an additional source of natural gas to Turkey and pave the way for alternative energy access to Europe, thereby providing regional growth and contributing to cross-regional trade and connectivity. Taking into account all the above advanced technological innovations that will directly or indirectly serve to increase energy security and reduce environmental impacts, as well as produce positive environmental and social effects, we believe that TANAP merits a nomination.