TBILISI, DFWatch–Despite the falling oil price, Azerbaijan has confirmed its commitment to the implementation of large-scale projects like the Southern Gas Corridor, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Energy Minister Namig Abbasov said at a conference in Baku organized by the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE).
“Azerbaijan attaches importance to transit opportunities for transportation of energy resources. The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the biggest projects in Europe. Energy security is now one of the important elements of national security of countries. This project is a factor of diversification of routes and sources”, the deputy minister said, as quoted by Azerbaijan’s APA news agency.
The Southern Gas Corridor has opened a new page in Azerbaijan’s contribution to European energy security, Abbasov added.
“TANAP is a very important regional project as a guarantor of European energy security. The energy corridor will be completed by construction of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). This pipeline will have potential for transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe. Moreover, the proposed Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) will deliver Azerbaijani gas to Bulgaria, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
In March, 2015, the three presidents of Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan launched the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, which is a gas pipeline to the EU, bypassing Russia. The project is known as the Southern Gas Corridor and is aimed at reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.
The USD 11 billion project is expected to be completed in 2018. The initial capacity of 16 billion cubic meters is to be increased to up to 23 billion within a few years after completion, and up to 31 billion by 2026.
EU countries in January approved 217 million euros in support of energy infrastructure in the south and southeast of the European continent, including a study of the TANAP, a gas pipeline project aimed at delivering Turkmen and Azerbaijan’s gas to Europe, via Georgia and bypassing Russia.