Turkey and Russian Presidents launched the Turkstream pipeline which will transport Russian gas to southern Europe through Turkey.
Presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated the project at a ceremony in Istanbul also attended by the leaders of Serbia and Bulgaria.
“The launch of TurkStream is a history-making event,” said Alexey Miller, chairman of the management committee and deputy chairman of the board of directors of Russia’s state gas company Gazprom. “Firstly, taking into account exports via Blue Stream, we have paved the way for direct transit-free supplies to fully meet Turkey's needs for Gazprom's gas. Secondly, Europe now has a new and reliable route to receive Russian pipeline gas.”
“Our Turkish and European partners is shifting to a new level and is going to help improve energy security in the region,” he added.
Turkstream will link gas transmission systems between the two countries through the Black Sea.
The gas pipeline has two strings with a combined throughput capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters. The first string will deliver Russian gas to Turkey, while the second string is intended for gas transit to southern and south-eastern Europe through Turkish territory.
The pipelaying for TurkStream took 15 months and was completed ahead of schedule in November 2018. The construction of the receiving terminal near the Kiyikoy settlement in Turkey was finished in 2019, Gazprom said.
The starting point for feeding gas into TurkStream is the Russkaya compressor station (CS), which forms part of Russia's Unified Gas Supply System and is located near Anapa. With a capacity of 224 MW, the CS maintains the pressure required for transmitting gas along the pipeline's two strings through more than 930 kilometres up to the Turkish coast where gas enters the receiving terminal.
The TurkStream sees for the first time ever, a pipe of 813 millimetres in diameter being laid at a depth of 2,200 kilometres.