U.S. official upbeat about pivotal role of Southern Gas Corridor in ensuring Europe’s energy security
By Ayya Lmahamad
The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) plays a great role in ensuring Europe’s energy security, Azernews reports, citing Deputy Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Energy Resources at the U.S. Department of State Laura Lochman.
She made the remarks at the 27th Energy Forum in Baku on June 1.
“The Caspian region as a whole and the Southern Gas Corridor play a crucial role in the EU’s energy security,” she said.
Emphasizing the importance of the transition to green energy, Lochman stressed that the U.S. supports the EU’s energy transition policy.
“We also appreciate Azerbaijan’s efforts in this regard,” she opined.
Hungary wants Azerbaijani to be Europe's key gas supplier
Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto noted that Hungary wants Azerbaijani gas to become the main gas source in Europe.
“However, to implement this idea, it’s necessary to develop the infrastructure and potential of the Caspian region,” he said.
He underlined that Hungary is committed to the supply of energy resources from Azerbaijan.
“Instead of wasting efforts on getting rid of dependence on Russian raw materials, it’s necessary to think about how to develop the existing infrastructure to establish new supplies,” he said.
The minister added that energy prices, as well as the lack of pipelines, complicate this process.
Green energy corridor through Azerbaijan
Speaking at the forum, Romanian Energy Minister Virgil Popescu stated that Romania and Azerbaijan can provide a corridor, as far as the production of green energy is concerned.
“We can create a green corridor by establishing the supply of renewable energy through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and further to Europe,” he said.
The minister mentioned that Romania is considering the possibility of diversifying energy resources and Azerbaijan will play an important role in this context.
“It is also planned to produce the first volumes of gas in the Black Sea by the end of June, and these resources will also help neighboring countries,” he added.
Azerbaijan Moldova’s main partner in diversifying energy supplies
Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister, Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Andrei Spinu stressed that Azerbaijan is the main partner in terms of diversifying energy supplies to Moldova.
“Gas prices in Moldova have increased five times over the past six months, and the market collapse hit the most vulnerable countries, such as Serbia and Moldova, which don’t have their own energy sources,” he said.
The deputy prime minister also emphasized Azerbaijan’s very high potential both in traditional and renewable energy sources.
“It’s necessary to create a mechanism of solidarity. We won’t achieve success if a mechanism for the security of supply isn’t developed. Moldova is open to all discussions on the above issue,” he said.
Italy intensifies cooperation within SGC
Italy’s Undersecretary at the Ministry of the Ecological Transition Vannia Gava noted that Italy is intensifying cooperation within the Southern Gas Corridor project.
Saying that Italy wants to increase the capacity of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to 20 billion cubic meters, she stressed that this will play an important role in terms of ensuring supplies to Greece and Italy.
“Gas supplies via the Southern Gas Corridor to Italy have increased to 7.2 billion cubic meters. Additional 4 billion cubic meters have been imported since the beginning of 2022," she added.
Gava added that now it is planned to increase supplies to 20 billion cubic meters.
"Issues of energy security and energy transition are the prerogative of Italy's energy policy. We will continue to work with partners on the development of infrastructure and the diversification of supplies," she said.
Azerbaijan most reliable energy partner for many years
Bulgarian Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov stressed that Azerbaijan has been showing itself as the most reliable energy partner for many years.
“Azerbaijan is a reliable energy partner. Today, Europe needs to diversify supplies and develop cooperation with the Caspian region,” he said.
Additionally, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, Mining and Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlovic stated that Serbia is discussing gas supplies from Azerbaijan through Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria.
“We discussed with Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov the possibility of supplying Azerbaijani gas through the IGB interconnector,” she said.
The deputy prime minister added that Serbia is 100 percent dependent on energy supplies from Russia, so the diversification of supplies is vital.
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