Istanbul, 16 March 2015 (MIA) – Macedonian Economy Minister Bekim Neziri is in Turkey for meetings with Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz. Neziri and Yildiz will discuss the possible Macedonian inclusion in the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP).
The Economy Ministry informed that Neziri’s comes at the time of the groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction of the pipeline, which is expected to run from the Azeri gas fields, through Georgia and along the length of Turkey, up to the Turkish – Greek border.
The pipeline will initially transport 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year, and will transport 31 billion cubic meters at the height of his capacity. The gas will continue to be transported through Greece and Albania, with a leg under the Ionian Sea, to its destination in Italy. The second stage of the pipeline is designated as TAP. It is expected that once completed, TANAP – TAP to help reduce European dependency on Russian gas. First deliveries to Turkey are expected in 2018, with deliveries of gas to Europe beginning in 2020.
Macedonia has expressed its interest to receive gas from the TANAP – TAP pipeline with a supply spur from Greece. Macedonia currently has only a limited gas supply from Bulgaria, with gas originating in Russia, and only a few industry plants are using this cheap and clean energy source. Macedonia is planning to begin work on an inter-city gas network, that would allow its cities to switch to gas heating, and would also open the country to attracting industries that require large quantities of cheap energy. Macedonia discussed getting a supply line from the South Stream pipeline, which is now cancelled, and it is also possible it will host part of the main line of the new Russian backed Turkish Stream project.