Azerbaijan has never considered the Southern Gas Corridor project as a kind of alternative or kind of competitor to any other gas projects being implemented in the region, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.
“Our project is only aimed at the target, which I identified – to produce, to supply, to satisfy the needs of consumers, to make happy transit countries, and also to earn money for the country,” noted President Aliyev. “So implementation of the project is on schedule. There were certain delays in Europe regarding some ecological concerns. But, as far as I know, they are being resolved.”
The president also said the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) will be commissioned on time in 2018.
“We hope that by 2020 the rest part of the Southern Gas Corridor will be implemented,” he added. “But again I would like to say that we need to continue very close international cooperation between seven countries involved in the project, which are Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Italy. Two more countries of the Balkans – Croatia and Montenegro – expressed their willingness to join the project at a later stage.”
The president went on to say that the Southern Gas Corridor project consists of four separate projects.
“The first is the development of one of the world’s biggest gas reserve fields Shah Deniz. The second is the expansion of the existing gas line from Azerbaijan to Georgia, which is called Southern Caucasus Pipeline,” he explained. “The third is Trans Anatolian Pipeline, which goes from eastern to western border of Turkey. And the last one, the fourth, is Trans Adriatic Pipeline, TAP, which goes from Turkish-Greek border through territory of Greece, Albania, underwater, entering Italy.”
The length of the integrated pipeline is more than 3,000 kilometers, noted President Aliyev, adding that seven countries are active members of this project, with Azerbaijan as the leader, which was confirmed in February 2016 during the second meeting of the Advisory Council of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Declaration, which was also signed by vice president of the European Commission, special representative of the president of the United States, as well as the members of the Southern Gas Corridor, clearly shows that Azerbaijan is the leading country in this respect, added the president.
“This project is needed for us, because we need to export our gas to the biggest market, which is Europe,” he said. “Europe also needs this project, because they need additional sources of gas, because European development needs additional energy.”
Ilham Aliyev said some of the existing reserves, supplied to Europe, are being exhausted.
“They need new reserves. Here is the Caspian, it is new, fresh. Proven gas reserves of Azerbaijan are 2.6 trillion cubic meters. It will be enough to supply European consumers with gas for decades,” added the president.