Russia’s Gazprom gas giant is developing plans to extend a multibillion-dollar gas pipeline to four south and central European countries via Turkey, Russian media have reported.
Turkish Stream, or TurkStream, is part of Moscow’s efforts to bypass Ukraine as a gas transit route to Europe, which imports around a third of its gas needs from Gazprom. Construction of its offshore part was completed earlier this week.
TurkStream gas will travel from Turkey to Bulgaria, then Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia, Russia’s Kommersant business daily reported Thursday, citing data published by the countries’ transmission operators.
The Bulgarian and Serbian route will reportedly go online in 2020, followed by Hungary in 2021 and Slovakia in mid-2022.
Gazprom plans to book all remaining capacities that are set to be auctioned off by March 2019, Kommersant cited unnamed energy market sources as saying.
Kommersant reports the route “in effect” replicates the South Stream pipeline that was scrapped in December 2014 under EU pressure after Russia annexed Crimea that year.
Both of Turkish Stream’s lines to Turkey and southern Europe are expected to reach full capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year each in 2022, Kommersant writes.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.