First trains with pipes of TANAP, Trans Anatolia Natural Gas Pipe Line Project, connecting Azerbaijan to Europe via Turkey, departed from Iskenderun.
Pipes of Baosteel (China) were the first transport by trains for TANAP. They were loaded to wagons directly in Iskenderun Port.
Other producers, Borusan Mannesmann, Noksel, Erciyas, Toscelik, Umran and Emek from Turkey, are expected to start loading pipes for TANAP onto wagons and trucks soon.
Loading is done as four pipes per wagon, where steel constructions are used instead of wooden dunnages. That provides more tolerance with the loading gauge. There are many narrow tunnels on way to Ankara and Kars. Steel constructions are expected to be more durable compared with the wooden ones.
Companies to organize the TANAP transports have not fully determined yet. Ones who signed contracts are told to be Arkas, Magdenli, Alp Ozler and Baskent. The logistic contracts include delivery until sites. Thus, first/last (for some only last) mile trucking needed for railway transports and truck companies seem to be more active even in railway + truck solutions.
For the first phase of the project, if half of the pipes are carried by rail, one full loaded train should depart every day during 2 years. For the whole project from Georgian border do Greek border, more than hundred thousands of pipe will be carried in total for the 1850-km-long pipe line.
Cover photo by Ali Pala ©