Azerbaijan-related projects in EU’s Projects of Common Interest list

3 November 2019 10:05 (UTC+04:00)

By Rasana Gasimova

Several energy projects that envisage transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe have been included in the European Commission’s fourth list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), local media reported, citing the European Commission.

The European Commission adopted the fourth list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) for implementing cross-border energy infrastructure in the EU on October 31. In general, the number of gas projects on the list has decreased from 53 to 32 over the past two years, which accounts for 21 percent of all projects.

The projects in the list that have to do with the transportation of Azerbaijan gas are as follows: Interconnector Greece — Bulgaria (IGB), Cluster phased capacity increase on the (Bulgaria) — Romania — Hungary — (Austria) bidirectional transmission corridor (currently known as "ROHUAT/BRUA"), Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline” (TCP), “South Caucasus Pipeline Future Expansion” (SCPFX), as well as “Trans-Adriatic Pipeline” (TAP).

The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), $40 billion worth project, envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and Europe through the pipeline, which will be operated within the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

The SGC consists of four projects: Shah Deniz 2, Expansion of South Caucasus Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum), the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

The launching ceremony of the first stage of the SGC was held in Baku on May 29, 2018, while opening ceremony of TANAP was held on June 12, 2018 in the Turkish city of Eskisehir. Thus, the first gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field has already gone through the first segment of the SGC - from the Sangachal terminal to the expanded South Caucasus Pipeline.

Azerbaijani gas supplies to Europe are expected to reach 10 billion cubic meters from the beginning of 2020.

In addition, six billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to the western regions of Turkey after reaching its planned capacity.

Worth 4.5 billion euros, TAP is a part of Southern Gas Corridor project that envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijani Shah Deniz-2 gas field to Greece and southern Italy across the Adriatic Sea through Greece and Albania, and involves designing, construction and operation of the natural gas pipeline.

Once built, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of doubling it. About 90 percent of TAP pipeline construction works have been implemented.

TAP may bring a net profit of 238 million euros after the first year of operation, that is, in 2021, according to the estimates of one of the partners of the TAP AG consortium. TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

The IGB Interconnector is a gas pipeline that will allow Bulgaria to receive Azerbaijani gas, in particular, extracted from the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field. The IGB will be connected to TAP, through which gas from the second stage of the Shah Deniz field will be delivered to European markets.

The BRUA project will integrate natural gas sources from the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas, the Middle East or Central Asia, with the markets of Central and Western Europe. The Romanian government approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Energy, Transgaz and the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council on the potential for cooperation in using the gas transportation infrastructure of the Romania-Bulgaria interconnector and the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria pipeline (BRUA), in the upcoming stages expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor in the Balkans and Central Europe.

The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline provides for the transportation of gas from Turkmenistan to Europe through Azerbaijan. For this, a 300-kilometer gas pipeline should be laid to the Azerbaijani shores across the floor of the Caspian Sea.

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