Bulgaria: Azerbaijan – key factor in SGC realization (exclusive)

Bulgaria: Azerbaijan – key factor in SGC realization (exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.9

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

The Southern Gas Corridor is a project of strategic importance for the entire region of South-East Europe, the newly-appointed Energy Minister of Bulgaria Nikolay Pavlov said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

"Ensuring security of gas supply is one of the key priorities of the European Energy Union. Bulgaria and the EU are actively working on the diversification of sources and routes of gas supplies, which will ensure the implementation of this priority," said the minister.

"In this regard, the Southern Gas Corridor is a project of strategic importance for both Bulgaria and the entire region of South-East Europe that will provide energy security for the EU."

Pavlov pointed out that Bulgaria has supported this project since its initiation.

Azerbaijan is not only a major gas source, but also a key factor enabling the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor, added the minister.

"I must underline that Bulgaria and Azerbaijan enjoy excellent partnership, especially in the energy field. An expression of this partnership is the contract concluded between Bulgargaz and Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR for supply of 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Shah Deniz 2. This gas will be delivered through the Southern Gas Corridor, namely: the South-Caucasus Pipeline, Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) to our country," said Pavlov.

The minister also talked about Bulgaria’s expectations from the upcoming meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council to be held in Baku, Feb.23.

At the forthcoming meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council, Bulgaria expects the countries involved in the project to inform about their progress regarding the above-mentioned projects, i.e. the development of the second phase of Shah Deniz, the expansion of the South-Caucasus Pipeline (SCPx), the construction of TANAP and the ongoing activities related to TAP, said Pavlov.

"On the Bulgarian side, we are going to present the significant progress in the IGB and the development of other Bulgarian interconnectors: the commissioning of the interconnector Bulgaria-Romania (IBR) at the end of 2016, the interconnector Turkey-Bulgaria (ITB) and the interconnector Bulgaria- Serbia (IBS)," he added.

The SGC Advisory Council held its first meeting on Feb. 12, 2015, and the second meeting on Feb. 29, 2016.

The Southern Gas Corridor envisages transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian region to Europe via Georgia and Turkey.

The gas will be exported through expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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