Baku, Azerbaijan, March 16
Geography of the countries, which are planning to join in this or that way the projects of the Southern Gas Corridor, is growing, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.
He made the remarks March 14 at the opening ceremony of the 7th Global Baku Forum.
“Azerbaijan is investing a lot in energy security,” he said. “Our energy projects together with major international energy companies not only bring benefit to our people, our country, they create tens of thousands of jobs in Azerbaijan and in the neighborhood and they lead to international partnership. Azerbaijan connected Black Sea and Caspian Sea with oil pipeline, Mediterranean Sea and Caspian Sea with oil pipeline for the first time in the world, and now we are working on the big project which is named Southern Gas Corridor, which connects Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and Italy with the integrated pipeline system. This is 3,500 kilometers long pipeline which is in the final stage of completion. Last year, last May, we officially inaugurated the Southern Gas Corridor and last June one of the important part of that Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) was also inaugurated. Azerbaijani gas is already being transported through this pipeline and hopefully next year the full project will be completed. It is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the region.”
He noted that the total amount of investments into production, transportation, production of gas and transportation is around $40 billion.
“We have a strong support from international financial institutions and of course corporate money is used so this is the project of energy security, energy cooperation and cooperation between countries,” he added. “And our plans go beyond today’s format. We already signed MoU with countries of Balkans like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, hopefully at the next stage we will start also active cooperation with these countries. Geography of the countries, which are planning to join in this or that way the projects of the Southern Gas Corridor, is growing. So, this clearly shows how energy transportation initiatives lead to a broad international cooperation. I think that in energy sector and in transportation sector we created a new broad format of international cooperation including countries of Asia, Caucasus, Europe and members of the European Union. This is really a big asset and we are only on the beginning of this process. Because we are only in the phase of implementation and after all this projects are implemented, there will be economic incentives, economic benefits, tens of thousands of jobs in these countries and this will bring the countries closer.”