Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.20
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
Georgia is grateful to Azerbaijan for the cooperation and the benefits this this project brings to the South Caucasus region, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said, Sept.20, during a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and groundbreaking of the Southern Gas Corridor.
"Azerbaijan is one of the close friends of Georgia and our energy cooperation holds a special place in our relations. We are grateful to Azerbaijan for the joint efforts in this sphere," Garibashvili said.
"We have already implemented such important project as Baku-Tbilisi -Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline," he said.
Garibashvili said that a historic decision on the Stage 2 of development of the Shah Deniz field trigger plans to expand South Caucasus pipeline through Azerbaijan and Georgia and construct Anatolian gas pipeline across Turkey, and TAP to Albania and Italy.
Garibashvili said that this project will create a new gas corridor to Europe, change the energy map of the region and bring more great opportunities to the Caspian Sea region.
"This project also has potential to contribute economic development and financial stability, create the new job opportunities in the region," he said. "It is an important project for all of us. Together with Azerbaijan and Turkey, we work on a very important railway project - Baku-Tbilisi-Kars - a project with global goals."
The 20th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and the Southern Gas Corridor groundbreaking ceremony started in Baku on September 20.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, as well as heads of several countries and governments, officials, foreign diplomats accredited in the country and foreign guests attend the ceremony.
The consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development has chosen the TAP project as a gas transportation route to the European markets.
TAP project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and then to Western Europe. The total length of the pipeline will be nearly 870 kilometers.
It is planned to start the construction of the pipeline in 2016. The initial capacity of the TAP pipeline will be 10 billion cubic meters per year with the possibility of expanding to 20 billion cubic meters per year.
TAP shareholders are BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (16 percent), Total (10 percent), E.ON (nine percent) and Axpo (five percent).