Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller said they opened a branch of the South Stream Transport BV in Istanbul for the realization of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project.
Noting that the said branch was opened to realize the TurkStream project and coordinate work carried out in Turkey, Miller said: “This is a very important decision. Thus, all conditions were provided to launch the construction of the sub-sea section of the project.”
Pointing out that the first micro tunnel was excavated in the section within the Russian border and that the second micro tunnel was 98.5 percent ready, Miller stressed that the project is under active construction.
Saying that hydrographic research continue in Turkish waters and that environmental impact assessment work was completed in the last section of the TurkStream project, Miller said, “We will begin the construction of the sub-sea section of the line in the second half of 2017, and we even plan to complete the construction of the two lines by the end of 2019.”
South Stream Transport B.V. was set up for the construction of the sub-sea section of the South Stream project. But after Gazprom’s decision to terminate the project, the Russian company bought the shares of Eni, EdF and Wintershall. Some of the assets of the South Stream Transport are to be used for the construction of the TurkStream.
On Oct. 10, Turkey and Russia signed an inter-governmental agreement on realizing the construction of the planned TurkStream gas pipeline to compress Russian gas under Turkish waters in the Black Sea toward Europe.
The agreement was signed by Energy Minister Berat Albayrak and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after their talks in Istanbul as part of the 23rd World Energy Congress.
The project, announced by Putin during a December 2014 visit to Turkey, will carry gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Turkish Thrace. One line, with a 15.75-billion-cubic-meter capacity, is expected to supply the Turkish market with a second carrying gas to Europe.
Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom estimated the cost of the construction for pipelines of the TurkStream at 11.4 billion euros, with the cost of the first line construction estimated at 4.3 billion euros.