Trans-Caspian Pipeline: From Idea Toward Reality

Trans-Caspian Pipeline: From Idea Toward Reality
The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline can be connected to the system of the Southern Gas Corridor designed for the supply of natural gas from the Caspian region to Europe. (TAP photo)

The Euro-Chinese consortium, which proposes to build the Trans-Caspian pipeline with direct investment, will strictly comply with international environmental requirements, according to Edison Kasapoglu, General Director of the Edison Technologies based in Germany.

The consortium includes Germany's Edison Technologies, MMEC Mannesmann GmbH and Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions and Chinese SINOPEC Engineering Group.

During the meeting with the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Myratgeldi Meredov and Advisor to the President of Turkmenistan on oil and gas Yagshigeldy Kakaev on the fields of the First Caspian Economic Forum hosted in Avaza last week, the representative of the Consortium Edison Kasapoglu said that Turkmenistan has bolstered its position in the international energy market and expanded the geography of energy cooperation and dialogue in the recent years.

Favourable Investment Climate

Kasapoglu also noted that Turkmenistan's favorable geopolitical location, the richest hydrocarbons deposits of the country, the diversification of its energy export routes and the policy of industrialization actively pursued by the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov creates attractive climate and platform for large-scale foreign investments.

On behalf of the consortium, Kasapoglu proposed a grandiose investment project to build 300 km Trans-Caspian gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan along the bottom of the Caspian Sea. The project also includes drilling of the required number of turnkey gas wells, and design and construction of gas treatment plants and compressor stations to supply purified gas to the Trans-Caspian pipeline.

The businessman stated that the European Union shows great interest in the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline and the supply of Turkmen natural gas to the EU market to enhance the energy security of the European continent.

"After laying the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline to the shores of Azerbaijan, Turkmen gas can be delivered to Turkey either via the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline and then to Europe or through a new route with access to the borders of the European Union in accordance with the requirements and proposals of all neighboring countries," Kasapoglu said. 

He also noted that the Consortium is ready to invest its financial resources in the project and return its investments with commercial gas which will be exported to Europe upon commissioning of the pipeline in the future. 

The Consortium said it has carried out preliminary technical studies for the Trans-Caspian pipeline project and conducted extensive market research for natural gas demand in the European market.

Environmental Compliance

"When laying the gas pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, the company will strictly comply with environmental requirements and standards enshrined in international treaties and the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea," Kasapoglu assured, adding that bathymetric, geophysical and geotechnical studies, as well as assessment of the corresponding seabed profiles, elimination of free spans and obstacles along the pipeline route, will be taken into account when designing the subsea gas pipeline construction.

"The requirements for buoyancy control, maintainability, protection against internal and external corrosion, protection against further dangers and damages will also be met," he stressed. "The consortium will focus on assessing all types of potential environmental risks associated with the planning and implementation of the underwater pipeline". 

The Consortium intends to achieve environmental goals by conducting special studies and seminars on environmental impact assessment at each stage of the project. Kasapoglu believes such steps can be taken to carry out international expertise and thereby satisfy the Caspian countries regarding environmental and ecological safety of the sea basin.

The representative of the Consortium said that his team is committed to mutually beneficial cooperation with Turkmenistan as a reliable partner and energy supplier.

"We are ready to provide our knowledge and experience of many years of work in this area for the implementation of such a large-scale project as the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline in order to strengthen global energy security," Kasapoglu stated.

At the end of the meeting, the sides agreed to meet again in the near future to discuss the project in more details and to explore existing and future mechanisms for the further implementation of new investment projects in Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan is one of the largest gas resource holders in the Caspian region and has the world's fourth largest proven natural gas reserves.