Azerbaijan, Italy mull TAP expansion [UPDATE]
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov and Italy's Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Luigi Di Maio have discussed the expansion of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
The discussion took place within the conference “Azerbaijan-Italy: The way to strengthen multidimensional strategic partnership” held at ADA University.
During the conference, the Italian minister highly appreciated the role of TAP in strengthening bilateral energy cooperation, the energy supply of his country and its position in the European gas market. In this regard, he underlined the importance of starting activities to expand the pipeline.
In turn, Parviz Shahbazov briefed on the growing importance of natural gas supply through TAP in energy cooperation with Italy, a reliable and largest trading partner of Azerbaijan, in addition to the crude oil supply.
Noting that 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas have already been delivered to Europe through TAP, the minister stated that the availability of large gas resources, the important role of natural gas in energy transition and the growing interest in diversification of gas supply sources allow TAP to expand
“If the current growth rate continues, we expect that our gas exports to Italy will reach 9.5 billion cubic meters under long-term and spot contracts by the end of this year. The expansion of TAP can provide more natural gas not only to Italy but also to other European countries. Therefore, we invite interested parties to take an active part in this process,” he said.
Moreover, he mentioned the possibility of transporting a 10 percent hydrogen mixture with the expansion of TAP. He called the Italian companies to evaluate the possibilities of this cooperation, emphasizing that the use of offshore wind energy and “green” hydrogen exports to Europe are also on the agenda.
The sides also discussed the development of energy cooperation between Azerbaijan and Italy. In addition, issues on cooperation in various fields between the two countries and the next meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation were also discussed.
It should be noted that the two countries' trade turnover was $9.6 billion in 2021, with Italy also being Azerbaijan's main trade partner. Italy was Azerbaijan's top trade partner in January-February 2022, with a total trade turnover of $3.1 billion between the two countries
Azerbaijan is a major supplier of energy to Italy. In Azerbaijan, over 100 Italian companies operating in various fields are registered. Furthermore, Italian firms have contracts worth more than € 10 billion ($11.8 billion) for Azerbaijani projects both inside and outside the country.
Azerbaijan's total investment in the Italian economy is estimated to be around € 1.7 billion ($2 billion), with Italy investing approximately € 770 million ($910.8 million) in Azerbaijan.
Furthermore, Italy was one of the first countries to express support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, as well as an interest in participating in restoration efforts in Azerbaijan's liberated territories. Thus, Italy and Israel have already begun work on a joint project to transform the liberated Zangilan region into a smart city.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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