Azerbaijani, EU officials laud Southern Gas Corridor's role in secure gas supplies to Europe

12 February 2021 12:00 (UTC+04:00)

By Vafa Ismayilova

Senior Azerbaijani and EU officials have hailed the Southern Gas Corridor's strategic role in ensuring secure gas supplies to Europe and Baku's long-term commitment to the implementation of the project.

In a joint statement on the seventh Baku-hosted Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council ministerial held on February 11, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi also supported all efforts to explore Southern Gas Corridor’s extension possibility.

“The seventh ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council, held in Baku on the 11th of February 2021 via videoconference, acknowledges the strategic energy partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Union and welcomes the completion of the Southern Gas Corridor project and the start of gas supplies from Azerbaijan to the European Union," the statement posted on the EU website said.

It added that this historic achievement was built on the strong cooperation between the governments, international institutions, financial lender organizations, operators of upstream ventures and transportation systems, contractor companies, communities and local authorities along the entire 3500-km-long value chain.

"We recognize the Southern Gas Corridor as an important new transmission system, which enables the secure, reliable and competitive supply of gas from the Shah Deniz field in the Republic of Azerbaijan to Europe. It serves the strategic goal of enhancing the energy security of European countries, further facilitating the integration of the European energy market and contributing to the operational connectivity of gas networks across Southern and Central Europe," the statement noted.

The officials stressed the fundamental role of the Azerbaijani government for its long-term commitment to the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor to secure diversified and stable gas deliveries to Europe and to bring the benefits of greater economic partnership.

"We support the efforts of all interested partners to explore the possibility of extension of the Southern Gas Corridor towards new energy markets based on technical, regulatory and commercial opportunities, including the Western Balkans, as they progress in their transition towards a decarbonised energy system,” the statement said.
 
The meeting was attended by ministers and other high-level representatives from 18 countries, including Azerbaijan. The event also brought together heads of five leading international financial institutions and 18 major companies engaged in the project.

The Southern Gas Corridor aims to bring Caspian Sea gas resources to the European market. The Southern Gas Corridor is an initiative of the European Commission for a natural gas supply route from Caspian and Middle Eastern regions to Europe. The route from Azerbaijan to Europe consists of the South Caucasus Pipeline, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

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