By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan is taking measures to develop renewable energy resources in its territories liberated from the Armenian occupation in 2020 and to turn Karabakh region into the “green energy zone”.
The country’s Energy Ministry and BP have signed an Implementation Agreement to build a 240MW solar power plant in the liberated Zangilan and Jabrayil regions.
“The document signed today with BP, our long-term strategic partner in the hydrocarbon sector, will open a new page in our cooperation in the area of green energy and decarbonization. I do hope that our active cooperation with BP on the 240MW solar energy project will pave the way for foreign investment in Karabakh,” Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov said on June 3.
The agreement covers the technical and commercial evaluation of the solar energy project, plant design, provision of financing and the adoption of the final investment decision.
Shahbazov stressed that Karabakh’s transformation into a “green energy” zone plays an important role in the modern course of development set by the country’s president.
He noted that Azerbaijan’s new socio-economic development strategy creates ample opportunities for attracting foreign investment to the renewable energy sector.
Addressing the signing ceremony, BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gary Jones stated that BP seeks to significantly increase investments in renewable and is exploring opportunities in places where it already has long and successful partnerships.
“In Azerbaijan, we have a history of nearly three decades of safe and reliable operatorship of energy projects. We believe the collaborative work we are starting on this solar opportunity can lead to a new area of partnership through which BP can make an important contribution to Azerbaijan’s energy transition,” Jones said.
A Steering Committee will be established to carry out work related to building the solar plant.
The new agreement with BP will help to create a “green energy” zone in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories and is in line with the country’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 35 percent by 2030 and BP’s strategy to become a “net zero emissions” company by 2050.
Earlier, President Aliyev stated that by reconstructing generating capacities and power transmission lines, Karabakh will turn into a zone of ‘green energy’. On May 3, the president signed a decree on measures to create a ‘green energy’ zone in the country’s liberated territories. According to the decree, in order to attract a specialized international consulting company to develop an appropriate concept and master plan on the creation of a ‘green energy’ zone in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, an amount of AZN 2,363,400 ($1,391,040) shall be allocated from the Presidential Reserve Fund envisaged in the country's state budget for 2021 to the Ministry of Energy.
In February 2021, the Energy Ministry and BP signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in assessing the potential and conditions required for large-scale decarbonized and integrated energy and transport systems, including renewable energy projects in Azerbaijan’s regions and cities.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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