President: New wind power plant to contribute to energy security [UPDATE]
By Ayya Lmahamad
President Ilham Aliyev has said that Azerbaijan's newly-laid 240 MW “Khizi-Absheron” Wind Power Plant will contribute to the country's energy security.
He made the remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the plant to be built in Azerbaijan by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power on January 13.
“I am glad that the company implementing and investing in this large renewable energy project is from brotherly Saudi Arabia. As you know, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan have very close friendly and fraternal relations. We have been working hard to develop these relations since independence,” he stated.
Aliyev noted that the establishment of this station once again shows that the Azerbaijani state attaches great importance to the production of renewable energy.
He recalled that about a year ago, Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power signed an executive agreement on building the 240 MW wind power station.
“In fact, the decision was made to build the station, we have been working hard for the past year, and today we are celebrating this wonderful day together,” he said.
Noting that this plant will be the largest power plant in the country’s renewable energy sector, he emphasized that the plans to save natural gas will also be resolved. He added that this station will be of great importance in reducing the adverse impacts on the environment.
The president also mentioned that the investor of this station is AquaPao, the largest energy company in the world.
“According to the information provided to me, the power generation capacity of the stations built by the company is more than 42,000 MW. So it would not be too difficult to imagine its proportions, and I am glad that this company is also interested in Azerbaijan,” he said.
Cooperation with Saudi Arabia
Mentioning Saudi Arabia’s political support provided to Azerbaijan during the occupation, Aliyev emphasized that bilateral political relations are at a very high level.
“Saudi Arabia is one of a handful of countries that did not establish diplomatic relations with Armenia at all due to the Armenian occupation, and this is a great moral support for the Azerbaijani people and the Azerbaijani state, it is a sign of brotherhood,” he said.
He also stated that both countries are actively cooperating in the various sectors of the economy, as well as in the energy field in the OPEC+ format. The president noted that the establishment of the OPEC+ format played a special role in the cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.
Country’s energy field
Aliyev stressed that Azerbaijan has been working hard to ensure its energy security for many years since gaining independence.
“Azerbaijan is one of a handful of countries in the world that fully produces both crude oil and natural gas, oil products and electricity to meet domestic demand, and at the same time exports these four products to world markets,” he said.
He underlined that the country’s energy security is fully ensured and the growing exports of natural gas and electricity have a positive impact on the energy security of other countries.
“According to the results of last year, our non-oil sector and non-oil industry have grown by about 20 percent,” he said.
Noting that renewable energy production is one of the main tasks on the country’s agenda in the energy field, the president stated that negotiations are underway on the construction of a large solar power plant in the liberated territories [in Jabrayil region]. He added that the power generation potential of this station will be equal to 240 MW.
“I can say that as a result of accurate analysis, it has transpired that a total of about 10,000 megawatts of renewable wind and solar electricity can be produced in the liberated areas. Of course, we would like investors and companies from friendly countries to explore these opportunities and start these big projects together with us,” he said.
Aliyev also noted that Azerbaijan fully meets domestic demand, and at the same time exports electricity to all neighboring countries.
“At the same time, the Green Agenda, which is almost at the forefront of the global agenda, has been approved, and we, in turn, declared the liberated territories, an area of 10,000 square kilometers, a “green energy” zone. Several hydropower plants have already been built and are operating. We have specific plans to build solar and wind power plants,” he said.
The president expressed confidence that after the opening of this largest renewable energy plant, or perhaps even before it opens, Azerbaijan will begin to implement other investment projects.
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