(MENAFN – Trends News Agency)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, August 1. Everyone in the EU understands the growing importance of Azerbaijan and the Caspian region in energy security, said Tengiz Pkhaladze, nonresident senior fellow at the European Center for International Political Economy (ECIPE).
“Azerbaijan’s role is growing rapidly. The EU attaches great importance to Azerbaijan’s commitment to contribute to energy security. Azerbaijan is not only a reliable partner. Azerbaijan’s political leaders always understand the current development trends and aim for development, cooperation and always provide solutions,” he said.
Speaking about the memorandum on increasing gas exports, recently signed between Azerbaijan and the EU, the expert noted that this is a clear sign that the EU considers Azerbaijan as a partner important.
“The signing of this memorandum was a very good decision on both sides. The Southern Gas Corridor was once of second importance. Today, the enormous capacities that Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea have, especially with regard to the gas pipeline Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP), are recognized. The EU is clearly ready to start serious negotiations with Azerbaijan,” Pkhaladze said.
Regarding pipeline capacity and potential expansion, the expert explained that this is quite achievable and mainly depends on political will.
“In the 1990s, when the challenges were greater, the parties were able to reach an agreement, precisely thanks to political will, and now the EU, Azerbaijan, Georgia and other parties are benefiting from the results. Thus, this memorandum is a sign of strong political will from both the EU and Azerbaijan,” he added.
According to Pkhaladze, during the calculation, the capacity of pipelines was considered taking into account other participants, next to Azerbaijan.
“Today there is also huge potential for Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to pursue cooperation on joint energy projects. So, if other countries in the Caspian region also join, the benefit for each side would be remarkable,” he added.
On 18 July 2022, a “Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Energy Partnership between the European Union represented by the European Commission and the Republic of Azerbaijan” was signed between Azerbaijan and the Union European.
The parties agreed to support bilateral trade in natural gas, including through the export to the European Union, via the Southern Gas Corridor, of at least 20 billion cubic meters of gas per year by 2027, in accordance commercial viability and market demand.
According to the document, any new natural gas exports to the European Union beyond those delivered to date will require significant investment in the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor gas pipeline network and the development of upstream projects.
In addition, the EU and Azerbaijan will promote the financing of the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor gas pipeline network taking into account EU climate policies and its REPowerEU strategy, including through cooperation with international financial institutions.
The parties will also support infrastructure ready for conversion to transport renewable gases, including hydrogen and its derivatives. This implies that new infrastructure must be capable of transporting renewable and low-carbon gases, including hydrogen and its derivatives, as well as making existing infrastructure scalable and hydrogen-ready.
The parties expressed their aspiration to promote trade in mutually beneficial natural gas, anticipating future trade in hydrogen, hydrogen derivatives and other renewable gases (biomethane, etc.) and renewable electricity .
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