The feasibility study for AGRI project, by which Azeri natural gas will come to Romania in liquefied state, shows two viable working alternatives, for two different capacities, namely 5 and 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas respectively, Romanian Energy Minister Andrei Gerea said on Wednesday.
Energy ministers Natig Aliyev (Azerbaijan, 2nd from left), Andrei Gerea (Romania, 3rd), Mariam Valisvili, (Georgia, 4th) sign the joint declaration of the AGRI meeting
“Today we signed a common declaration for the continuation of the project. This meeting was the occasion for the British company to unveil the feasibility study it conducted. The conclusions of this study show that we have two viable working alternatives, for two different capacities, namely 5 billion and 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas respectively. These figures can be improved and /…/ in a private meeting with the participating ministers we decided to continue developing this project also on technical bases that should enable the development and later increase in the capacity if needed. We believe that the AGRI project is a component of the southern gas corridor that may make an important contribution to the European energy security”, Gerea said at the end of the Inter-ministerial Meeting on the AGRI (Azerbaijan – Georgia – Romania Interconnector) project.
The project was initiated in 2010 by a memorandum signed in Bucharest by Romania, Azerbaijan and Georgia, to which Hungary later added. Its purpose is to carry the Caspian natural gas via Azerbaijan and Georgia, cross the Black Sea by means of gas tank ships, involving the construction of two liquefying terminals (on the Georgian Black Sea coast) and re-gasification terminal respectively (on the Romanian Black Sea coast). The gas is mainly aimed to provide the Romanian and Hungarian consumption, with the remainder to be directed to other potential markets across Europe. The project was also promoted at the level of the European Union and was included in the list of the Common Interest Projects, to be finalised later this year.
According to the Romanian energy minister, the project will cost the Romanian side roughly one billion euros.
Gerea underscored that funding sources should be found for the project and other participants should be invited. In this respect, he stressed he had had talks in the last month with the energy ministers of Bulgaria and Serbia, who showed interest in the project, and that he was to meet his two counterparts in the next two weeks.
The Energy Minister of Azerbaijan Natig Aliyev said there were calculations for a third scenario based on a capacity of two billion cubic meters and the costs of the three alternatives ranged between two and five billion dollars.
The AGRI participating countries were represented at the Inter-ministerial Meeting by the Romanian Minister of Energy, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Business Climate, Andrei Gerea, Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natig Aliyev and the Georgian Deputy Energy Minister Mariam Valishvili. Hungarian ambassador to Romania Botond Zakonyi represented his country at the gathering. Also attending were European Commission representatives, officials of the national companies involved in AGRI project, diplomats accredited in Romania from the embassies of the AGRI-associated countries and other guests.