As the initiator of the biggest Southern Gas Corridor project, Azerbaijan has become a very important energy player at the regional and global levels, said Maros Sefcovic, vice-president of the European Commission for Energy Union.
Sefcovic made the statement at the Greek Energy Forum in Thessaloniki, Greece. The vice-president stressed that the EU is the largest importer of energy resources in the world.
Sefcovic called the Southern Gas Corridor the true diversification project, as it will provide the European countries with a new source of gas supply [the Caspian region] and a new supply route [the Trans Adriatic Pipeline – TAP].
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects.
Sefcovic said that Turkmenistan, Iraq and the Mediterranean region can also be the potential sources of gas supplies as part of the Southern Gas Corridor.
The vice-president added that the European Commission expects the first gas to be supplied to Turkey in 2019 as part of the Southern Gas Corridor, while to Europe – in 2020.
Sefcovic also stressed the importance of the TAP groundbreaking ceremony planned to be held in Thessaloniki May 17. He further said that this important event will go down in history.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
The 870-kilometer pipeline will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy’s south. TAP shareholders are: BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).