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Simson: New Azerbaijan-EU energy MoU underlines Southern Gas Corridor's strategic role

19 July 2022 13:31 (UTC+04:00)
Simson: New Azerbaijan-EU energy MoU underlines Southern Gas Corridor's strategic role

By Ayya Lmahamad

European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson has said that the new memorandum of understanding on strategic partnership in the energy field signed between Azerbaijan and the EU underlines the strategic role of the Southern Gas Corridor in Europe's diversification efforts, Azernews reports.

She noted that Azerbaijan has already increased the natural gas deliveries to the EU, adding that this trend will continue, with up to 4 billion cubic meters of additional gas this year, and volumes expected to more than double by 2027.

"But our cooperation goes beyond that, accelerating the deployment of renewables and addressing methane emissions; these steps will both increase security of supply and help achieve our climate goals," she said.

The signed memorandum includes a commitment to double the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor to deliver at least 20 billion cubic meters to the EU annually by 2027. This will contribute to the diversification objectives in the REPowerEU Plan and help Europe to end its dependency on Russian gas. Based on the strengthened energy cooperation, Azerbaijan is now already increasing deliveries of natural gas to the EU, from 8.1 billion cubic meters in 2021 to an expected 12 bcm in 2022.

"As stated in the MoU, the EU and Azerbaijan share the ambition to accelerate the development and deployment of renewable energy generation and transmission capacity to fully reap the synergies between the EU's clean energy transition and Azerbaijan's strong untapped renewable energy potential, in particular in the offshore energy sector," European Commission's statement reads.

The two parties also acknowledge the importance of the Global Methane Pledge and recognize that making the natural gas supply chain as efficient, environmentally and climate-friendly as possible is a collective responsibility.

" The MoU supports the creation of schemes to collect natural gas that would otherwise be vented, flared, or released into the atmosphere. Our cooperation will also be crucial to support Azerbaijan's accession to the Pledge," the statement reads.

On July 19, Azerbaijan and the European Commission signed a memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation in the energy field. The document was signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

EU and Azerbaijan are in active dialogue on increasing gas supplies amid the energy crisis. The EU-Azerbaijan energy cooperation had reached a new level and is still ongoing within the framework of the Southern Gas Corridor. The EU places a high value on energy supply diversification, and the Southern Gas Corridor is particularly important in this regard.

To recall, with the completion of the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) construction on December 31, 2020, Azerbaijan began commercial gas supplies to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor. The Southern Gas Corridor is an initiative of the European Commission for a natural gas supply route from the Caspian and Middle Eastern regions to Europe. The route from Azerbaijan to Europe consists of the South Caucasus Pipeline, TANAP, and TAP.

Last year, TAP transported 8.1 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. By late 2022, Azerbaijan plans to increase gas supplies to Europe to 9.1 billion cubic meters, and in 2023, the volume of gas supplies is expected to reach 11 billion cubic meters.


Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

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