ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Turkey is positioned to become a major energy hub once the Nabucco natural gas pipeline comes on stream, the head of Austrian energy company OMV said.
European consumers are looking to the Nabucco pipeline as a way to break the Russian grip on the energy sector. Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, the top executive at Nabucco consortium member OMV, told Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman that guaranteeing capacity was the most important factor in getting the pipeline off the ground.
OMV earlier this year said Nabucco might not see the light of day without adequate supplies.
Ruttenstorfer noted that Turkey, nevertheless, was situated in an advantageous position for the project, serving as a bridge between Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
He described Nabucco as a "very long highway" that linked several key energy regions together through Turkey.
"Turkey is going to be a crucial player and a bridge in the energy sector," he told the Turkish newspaper.
The Nabucco consortium announced in September the signing of a mandate letter from the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank to back the project.
The EIB will commit around $2.5 billion, the EBRD around $1.5 billion and the World Bank roughly $1 billion for the pipeline. The European Commission set aside $256 million for the $11 billion project.