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Azerbaijan's huge potential may turn it to energy capital of Europe

31 May 2023 19:00 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan's huge potential may turn it to energy capital of Europe
Elnur Enveroglu
Elnur Enveroglu
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Baku Expo Center was a venue for the 28th International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and the 11th Caspian International Power and Green Energy Exhibition within the framework of the Baku Energy Week. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of the exhibitions, where the US Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt, UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan Baroness Emma Nicholson, Director for Energy Policy, Strategy and Coordination at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy Christina Lobillo Borrero and other high-level representatives participated.

As mentioned by the President of Azerbaijan the Baku energy week is one of the leading international events in the energy sector.
The importance of the event can be emphasized in many ways. One of them is that such an exhibition organized in Azerbaijan is received with great interest by the leading state leaders of the USA and Europe.
It is a fact that due to the changing geopolitical and geostrategic conditions, Azerbaijan is considered one of the leading energy centers in recent times. 29 years ago, when the contract of the century was signed, Azerbaijan started a great era in establishing economic relations with the West for the first time in the South Caucasus. President Ilham Aliyev, who mentioned that period in his speech at the opening of the event, emphasized that since 1994, economic relations have been successfully continued in a more diversified form.
“For almost 30 years, we have successfully cooperated in the energy area. And now, not only in energy area, we are diversifying our cooperation. The US and the UK governments have always been very supportive to all the initiatives of Azerbaijan to develop its resources of the Caspian sea,” the President said in his address at the event.

Yes, the head of state rightly emphasized that the oil contract of the century, signed in 1994, became the guarantor of Azerbaijan's economic and political freedom.

“Signing the Contract of the Century in 1994 was the only step which could provide success, sustainable development, economic independence, and as a result, political independence.”

It is also important to emphasize that the oil contract of the century is related to the name of National Leader Heydar Aliyev. For this reason, it is not a coincidence that the event coincides with the 100th anniversary of the great leader's birth.

"This year's "Baku Energy Week" coincides with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Heydar Aliyev, the National Leader of the Azerbaijani people and the founder of the independent Azerbaijan state. This is a remarkable event. The emergence of the energy dialogue platform and exhibition activities in Azerbaijan is associated with the exceptional role of Heydar Aliyev," the President said.

Values given to Azerbaijan as a reliable partner

In addition, the Energy Week event held at the international level in Baku once again proved that the economic connection between Azerbaijan and the West has deeper roots.
During his speech, President Ilham Aliyev mentioned the message that Azerbaijan is the most reliable partner in the field of energy, and also demonstrated the power of trust and confidence in Azerbaijan in providing a kind of energy security.

“So, we really work as a team because we have one target - how to strengthen energy security, how to help each other to overcome difficulties, whether they are situative difficulties or can be difficulties of strategic origin. Of course, we are very proud that the European Union high-ranking officials called Azerbaijan a reliable partner, which is true, and call Azerbaijan a Pan-European gas supplier, which also becomes true.”
Today, thanks to this trust and confidence, Azerbaijan is considering increasing the gas export to Europe, as well as expanding its scope. Due to some geopolitical realities, Azerbaijan enters the new alliance as one of the main energy suppliers of Europe. Of course, this is a solidarity ring, as the president mentioned.
“The project called solidarity ring including Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia envisages additional interconnectors,” the President said.

The expansion of the scope of energy supply is also a constant increase in the demand for Azerbaijani gas. The head of state notes that Azerbaijan has undertaken to supply gas to 10 countries. Of course, to meet all these needs, Azerbaijan needs to implement large-scale projects. But today, all interests are focused on green energy. At such a level, oil and gas become secondary. However, as President Ilham Aliyev emphasized, everything should also be considered from a realistic point of view.

“I’d like to underline that it will be also important for international financial institutions to support these projects. Though we know that now, with respect to the green energy transition, some international financial institutions stop financing projects based on fossil fuel. I think, we need to treat all the issues from realistic point of view. Today, it is clear that without natural gas supplies, energy security cannot be provided to the degree it is needed,” the Azerbaijani President added.

President Ilham aliyev also touched on expanding projects within TANAP and TAP concerning Azerbaijan’s plan to increase the gas supply to Europe.

“There are a lot of things to do. We need to expand TANAP and TAP. We need to have unimpeded access to other European pipeline system including trans-Balkan pipeline system. And there must be more interconnectors in Europe and it is going,” the President said adding that the big investement is another vital segment of such a giant project.

“All these issues must be implemented in coordination because we have to undertake substantial investments. Therefore, of course, we must be sure that the gas - which we extract additionally and did not plan, but decided to extract because of the growing need in Europe - will find its consumers. All that definitely will need continuation of the team work.
As I said, though the Southern Gas Corridor project is finished but the Advisory Council on the Southern Gas Corridor takes place every year in February and will take again place in Baku in February because we have new participants. We have new ideas and new plans. If we implement all what we planned so far successfully, we will be successful in the future,” the Azerbaijani President noted.

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Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ deputy editor-in-chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1

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