Guler said he discussed with the Austrian minister several issues, including Turkey's natural gas supply security, the shape of the project, amounts and a timetable for the project.
"We will speed up our efforts and realize this project just as we did the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the Shah Sea project. So, both Turkey and the European Union can have a good alternative for natural gas supply security," he told reporters after the meeting.
The Nabucco project is a planned 3,300 kilometers natural gas pipeline that will carry gas from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. However rising costs and uncertainties over supply sources are seen as the most important challenges in the project. The project, with a planned maximum capacity of 31 billion cubic meters per year, is estimated to cost around 4.6 billion euros ($5.8 billion).
Austrian Economic Affairs Minister Martin Bartenstein reiterated his country attached great importance to the Nabucco project and said they were working hard to pump the first gas in 2012 or 2013. "It is time to finish the project," he said.
The project is being developed by the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, established in 2004 in Vienna. The shareholders of the company are Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Romanian Transgaz, Bulgarian Bulgargaz and Turkish BOTAS. German energy giant RWE became the project’s sixth partner in 2008.
Bartenstein and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Hayati Yazici signed on Tuesday the 6th Joint Economic Commission Protocol in Ankara. The trade volume between two countries is expected to be 2 billion euros ($3.12 billion) by end-2008.
Yazici said the trade volume between Turkey and Austria as 1.6 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in 2007. "This indicated a two-fold rise in our trade volume in the last decade and the highest figure in the common history of the two countries," he added in his speech at the ceremony.
Bartenstein said the trade between the two countries had a rapidly rising trend, adding they estimated the trade volume between Turkey and Austria to reach 2 billion euro by the end of 2008.