Georgia, Azerbaijan & Turkey Sign Pact for BTC Pipeline

The governments of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey have signed a document guaranteeing environmental protection and labor safety meeting international standards during the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Natik Aliyev, president of SOCAR, said. Aliyev said that this document should put to rest concerns over stated violations during the implementation of the project.

The SOCAR president said that the three countries have again studied the route of the pipeline from an environmental point of view at the request of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation and other creditors. He said that all documents have been sent to the EBRD and the IFC for an open public hearing over 120 days. After this, the international financial institutions will reach a decision on financing the project in October-November this year.

The cost of the Baku-Ceyhan project is estimated at $2.95 billion. According to the concept for the financing of the project, the participating companies will cover 30% of the cost, and 70% will be borrowed. The future pipeline will stretch 1,730 kilometers and will have a capacity of 50 million tons of oil per annum. The planned launch date for the pipeline is the end of 2004 - start of 2005.

Participants in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project are the British Petroleum (30.1%), SOCAR (25%), Unocal (8.9%), Statoil (8.71%), TPAO (6.53%), Eni (5%), ConocoPhillips (2.5%), Inpex (2.5%), TotalFinaElf (5%) and Amerada Hess (2.36%).

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