By David O’Byrne
Azerbaijan and Turkey have broken ground on the construction of the long-planned gas pipeline linking Turkey’s gas grid to the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan (Nakhichevan).
Construction was formally launched at a ceremony in Nakhchivan on September 25 attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan which saw the signing of agreements on energy, transport and public housing.
The new pipeline, which is being constructed under a memorandum of understanding signed between Azerbaijan and Turkey in December 2020, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, will run for 80 kilometers inside Turkey between Turkey’s main transit pipeline at Igdir to the border, and then for a further 17.5 kilometers inside Nakhchivan.
Once complete, the line will enable Azerbaijan to supply Nakhchivan with its own gas delivered via Turkey, ending the enclave’s dependence on Iranian gas imported directly through a separate pipeline from Iran.
Nakhchivan’s annual gas demand is reported to be around 500 million cubic meters a year with President Aliyev’s official website reporting that the pipeline being laid will have a capacity of around 2 million cubic meters a day, or around 730 million cubic meters a year which “can be more than doubled.”