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20th anniversary of East-West Energy Corridor marked

17 May 2016 13:50 (UTC+04:00)
20th anniversary of East-West Energy Corridor marked

By Fatma Babayeva

Azerbaijan and Georgia celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline which was the keystone of the energy cooperation between these countries and solidified their relations.

The ceremonial celebration of the 20th jubilee of the Baku-Supsa pipeline - the "project of the century” which transfers oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey and Europe - took place in Tbilisi on May 16, reports Azertac.

Twenty years ago, on March 8, 1996 Azerbaijan’s National Leader Heydar Aliyev and Georgia’s former president Eduard Shevardnadze signed an agreement to construct the Baku-Tbilisi-Supsa pipeline, which laid the foundation for the East-West Energy Corridor.

Addressing the ceremony Azerbaijan’s Prime Minister Artur Rasizade said the national development road, which was founded by national leader Heydar Aliyev is successfully continued by President Ilham Aliyev.

At this special event, Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasized the role of the oil pipeline as it created “stability” and was a "guarantee of piece” in the South Caucasus. The pipeline made “significant” contributions to the development of strategic partnership between the two countries, he added.

He thanked Azerbaijan for involving Georgia in energy projects, as well as, for the country's approach to solving gas and other problems faced by Georgia. Moreover, the project cemented the image of Georgia as a transit country for oil and gas and goods.

Georgia’s PM stressed the country’s "important” transit role in providing oil and gas to the European Union (EU). He said Georgia understands its role and responsibility as a transit country and fully supports the current and future energy projects that will ensure the diversification of routes for transporting the world’s energy resources.

As an example of successful cooperation between the three countries Kvirikashvili in his turn named the South Caucasus Pipeline as well as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Supsa projects.

In the meantime, Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze praised the Baku-Tbilisi-Supsa project as the beginning of the strategic and distinguished relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan.

As part of the visit, PM Rasizade met with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

"Azerbaijan is a strategic partner of Georgia. Georgia is interested in developing and strengthening these relations," said President Margvelashvili in a meeting with PM Rasizade in Tbilisi.

Rasizade also had one-to-one with Kvirikashvili to discuss the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelines, the East-West energy corridor and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway projects. Particularly, they mulled ways of expanding the bilateral relations between their countries in a variety of fields, including investment making, trade, power engineering and transportation.

Hailing the importance of the projects co-implemented by Azerbaijan and Georgia, Rasizade said these projects are of crucial importance not only in strengthening our state independence and economic relations, but increasing international influence of our countries.

He further added that the Baku-Tbilisi-Supsa pipeline, which laid the foundation for the East-West Energy Corridor was the source for other energy projects. Baku-Tbilisi-Supsa pipeline was the first successful project between Azerbaijan and Georgia.

The Western Route Export Pipeline (WREP) commonly known as the Baku-Tbilisi-Supsa pipeline or Baku-Supsa pipeline, is 830km long that transports oil from the Chirag field in the Caspian Sea via the Sangachal terminal in Azerbaijan to the Supsa terminal in western Georgia. Just under half of the pipeline is located on Georgian territory.

WREP, which became fully operational in 1999, is capable of transporting up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day and ensures transporting oil through Georgia and on to world markets, said British Petroleum (BP).

Once the deal was signed a project was launched with the involvement of BP and international partners.

Azerbaijan plans to expand its energy cooperation with Georgia with the completion of the gas pipeline Southern Gas Corridor which will transport Shah Deniz 2 Gas from the Caspian section of Azerbaijan to Europe via Georgia.

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Fatma Babayeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Fatma_Babayeva

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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