The Southern Gas Corridor has a strategic importance for the European energy security, especially in the most vulnerable parts of Europe, such as South-East Europe and Southern Italy, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic told Trend Feb.14.
“It helps diversify our energy supply sources and transit routes. At the end of the day, we all stand to gain from this 'bridge' between the EU market and the Caspian region, as our long-term objective is to create a pan-European energy market based on free trade, competition and diversified supplies, sources and routes,” he said.
As for the upcoming Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting to be held in Baku Feb.15, Sefcovic said that the Council is crucial for streamlining the development and implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor by bringing together all the countries and stakeholders involved.
“During its 4th meeting tomorrow, I am looking forward to receiving a detailed update from the operators and consortia on various projects of the Corridor, which is of strategic importance for the European energy security. We will discuss what has been achieved as well as remaining challenges in order to ensure timely completion of the Corridor and even possible extension in the future,” noted the vice-president for Energy Union.
Sefcovic said that during the meeting, he wants to underline Europe's firm commitment to completing this strategic project.
“I'm glad to come to Baku with a positive message about the European Investment Bank (EIB) 1.5 billion euros loan for the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which is the single biggest contribution of an international financial institution to this project,” he added.
Moreover, past four years – since the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council was established – were marked by profound changes in the energy landscape, including the deepest transformation of EU industry and economy accelerated by historical signature of the Paris Agreement, said Sefcovic, adding that therefore, this Council can also be a good opportunity to reflect on these new trends.
The Southern Gas Corridor, worth $41.5 billion, is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
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. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline.