By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan and Turkey have signed a memorandum of understanding on Igdir-Nakhchivan natural gas pipeline that will take natural gas from Turkey's Igdir region to Azerbaijan's Nakhcivan Autonomous Republic, the Energy Ministry has reported.
The project will be operated by Turkey's BOTAS and Azerbaijan's SOCAR.
The document was signed by the Azerbaijan Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov and Turkey Energy Minister Fatih Donmez in Ankara on December 15.
A new gas pipeline will pass through the Azerbaijan’s liberated territories to Nakhchivan, and from there to Turkish Igdir.
Addressing the event, Parviz Shahbazov spoke about the project's importance for the region.
“Azerbaijan and Turkey are co-creators of new geopolitical realities and safe environment for development in the region. The new cooperation, which will allow sharing the region’s resources, communication and logistical potential, will be beneficial not only for Azerbaijan and Turkey, but for the region and the world,” he stated.
Moreover, it was noted that this project will revive the economy of Nakhchivan.
Touching upon the memorandum of understanding, the minister emphasized the strategic importance of natural gas supplies to Nakhchivan. He added that the signed document lays the foundation for gas supplies to Nakhchivan via Turkey through the pipeline, and ensures cooperation between the companies of both countries (SOCAR and BOTAS) on technical, commercial, administrative, legal and other issues related to natural gas supplies.
“Gas supplies from Turkey to Nakhchivan will help diversify gas supplies and increase the reliability of energy supply. Nakhchivan will be able to fully meet its growing energy needs with the support of Iran and Turkey,” the minister added.
Additionally, during the meeting it was noted that the construction of Igdir-Nakhchivan is planned to be completed in 2022. The total length of the pipeline is expected to be 160 km, while the throughput capacity will be 500 million cubic meters per year, which will make it possible to supply 1.5 million cubic meters of gas to Nakhchivan on a daily basis.
Shahbazov expressed gratitude to Turkey’s stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its unwavering support for Azerbaijan’s just position. "It is the victory of justice and development, which both countries values for themselves."
Furthermore, as part of the visit, the Azerbaijani and Turkish delegations headed by the Energy Ministers held a bilateral meeting.
The parties exchanged views on the importance of the new pipeline for Nakhchivan's energy security and discussed prospects for further cooperation in the energy sphere.
Shahbazov underlined the exemplary energy cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey and the benefits of energy projects for all.
He noted that so far, about 424 million tons of oil were transported to Turkey and world markets via Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, and more than 76 billion cubic meters of gas were transported to Turkey via pipelines.
In the meantime, it was noted that the volume of gas transported to Turkey via TANAP has exceeded 8.2 billion cubic meters since July 2018. In addition, Turkey has invested $14 billion in Azerbaijan’s economy, while Azerbaijan has invested more than $18 billion in Turkey, which is considered as a more successful example of high-level relations between the two countries.
Azerbaijani and Turkish officials signed agreements on transport, business, strategic cooperation and mutual visa exemption during Recep Tayyip Erdogan's officail visit to Baku on December 10. The signing ceremony took place after the one-to-one meeting between Azerbaijani and Turkish leaders.
It should be noted that Turkey was Azerbaijan's second-largest trading partner, with trade turnover of $3.5 billion during the first ten months of the year. Export of Azerbaijani products to Turkey amounted to $3.8 billion, while the import from Turkey amounted to $1.2 billion. In addition, Turkey is Azerbaijan's largest trade partner among the OIC (Organizaiton of Islamic Cooperation) countries.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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