Initial phase of Southern Gas Corridor just the beginning: acting US energy envoy
The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project, which envisages delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, could thus become a basis for positive cooperation across the region, Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the US Department of State Sue Saarnio said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
She pointed out that the Southern Gas Corridor will make a significant contribution to Europe’s energy security.
"The SGC has made tremendous progress. Development of Azerbaijan’s offshore Shah Deniz 2 (SD2) gas field is nearly complete, as is the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCPX) and construction of the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP). The final pipeline in the SGC, the Trans Adriatic pipeline (TAP), has also made substantial progress, especially in Greece and Albania. The Italian portion, after some initial challenges, is making good progress," said Saarnio. "We remain confident that gas deliveries to Turkey will begin in 2018 and to Italy in a 2020/21 timeframe."
Further, Saarnio noted that many EU members recognize that their reliance on a single source of natural gas imports exposes them to serious political and economic risks, and that they should take steps to diminish that reliance by diversifying their gas imports—by country of origin and path of delivery.
"While the EU has added LNG infrastructure—both terminals and floating storage regasification units (FSRUs)—the SGC is the only major pipeline project now under construction that will provide a new source and new route for gas delivery to Europe," she said.
This is an enormously significant development and would not have been possible without the concerted and sustained efforts of countless government and private sector stakeholders from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Albania, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom and elsewhere, according to Saarnio.