Putin in Turkey to Open Sea Section of Turkstream Gas Pipeline

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host President Putin in Istanbul on Monday for the completion ceremony of the sea section work for the TurkStream natural gas project, The Daily Sabah reports.

TurkStream is a transit-free gas export pipeline that will stretch across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further extend to Turkey’s borders with neighboring European countries.

The pipeline consists of two lines from Russia to Turkey, with a total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters (bcm). According to plans, the first line will carry 15.75 bcm of gas to Turkey and the second line will transfer the gas to Europe via Turkey.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Anadolu agency Sunday that the TurkStream pipeline project is “one of the most important strategic projects between Turkey and Russia, which will be the basis of long-term cooperation between the two countries.”

“Turkey becomes a natural gas bridge for South-Eastern Europe with the TurkStream project,” Novak said.

The first line is intended for gas supplies to Turkish consumers, while the second will supply gas to south and South-Eastern Europe.

Russian energy giant Gazprom plans to start construction of the overland section of TurkStream’s second gas pipeline in 2019. Natural gas transmission will take around 52 hours from Anapa, Russia, to Kıyıköy in Kırklareli province in northwestern Turkey, according to officials.

“We evaluate several routes for [the second line of] the project, such as Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary as well as Greece and Italy,” he said. Such projects will be the basis of long-term economic cooperation between the two countries, Novak added.

The two countries cooperate on new energy projects, including the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, Turkey’s first nuclear energy project.