Gas pipeline to connect occupied north with Turkey under discussion

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Turkey and authorities in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus are working on building an 80 kilometre pipeline to transport natural gas by 2025.

Talking to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi, Turkish Cypriot ‘energy minister’ Hasan Tacoy said final  decisions on the project are to be taken by the end of the year.

The pipeline is part of a three-year plan to clamp down on the use of fossil fuel and bring down spiralling electricity prices in the north.

Tacoy said the pipeline could be connected to the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) carrying gas from Azerbaijan and/or the TurkStream pipeline, running from the Russian Federation to Turkey.

He said the Turkish Cypriots are going ahead with plans to build a gas pipeline with Turkey,  the only ally they have due to “isolation policies forwarded by Greek Cypriots”.

Also talking to Kibris Postasi, energy expert and professor at the Bogazici University Gurkan Kubaroglu said the project aims to be completed by 2025 has significance.

“2025 is the year when companies Noble and Shell are to start producing natural gas from the Aphrodite gas field, according to a profit-sharing agreement signed with the Greek Cypriots (Cyprus government).”

The Turkish energy expert argued the deal was made without taking into consideration Turkish Cypriot rights to their share of the profits and claimed that “Tacoy’s reference to 2025 was the best answer” to this.

“The only way for the exploitation of the Aphrodite gas field could be profitable is for the gas to be transferred to Europe through the planned pipeline.”

He said energy majors like Noble and Shell will want to do business with the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.

Meanwhile, the matter of electrically interconnecting the north with Turkey has not been shelved.

Tacoy said that the two sides have not abandoned plans for an interconnector with Turkish Cypriots committed to promoting the project.

Kumbaroglu, said that interconnecting the grid in the north with Turkey would be a win-win situation by reducing pollution and producing electricity from RES.

Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, said last week: “Turkey and the ‘TRNC’ are going ahead with studies regarding both the gas pipeline and the electricity interconnector”.