Details added (first version posted at 16:22)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 18. Energy projects initiated by Azerbaijan and supported by European Union and supported by our partners completely changed the energy map of Europe, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said, while making a press statement with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Trend reports.
"Today we had very good discussions on broad range of issues of
mutual interest. We covered all the topics which today are on our
agenda, and we had the ceremony of signing of MoU on strategic
partnership in the field of energy between the European Union and
Azerbaijan. Our active cooperation in energy area already has a
history of more than 15 years. Today’s memorandum is not the first
document which was signed between us. We had MoU signed in 2006,
and Joint Declaration on Southern Gas Corridor signed in 2011. So,
we have a good history and good achievements.
Energy projects initiated by Azerbaijan and supported by European Union and supported by our partners completely changed the energy map of Europe. We started with oil production, and then gas production, and construction of oil pipeline which connected Caspian with Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Of course, the Southern Gas Corridor which is 3,500 km long integrated pipeline system which brings our gas to European Continent. It’s less than 2 years that the Southern Gas Corridor works in full capacity and all the segments are in place but already we see the positive benefits of this cooperation. Issues of energy security today are more important than ever before. A long-lasting, predictable and very reliable cooperation between EU and Azerbaijan in the field of energy, of course, is a big asset.
This year we started energy dialogue between EU and Azerbaijan, which covers many areas including oil, gas, renewables, hydrogen, energy efficiency and other issues, and the great potential of renewable energy production in Azerbaijan also is appreciated already by the European Union. We already started projects of investments in wind and solar energy. We already made the first assessment about our potential. And I can say that in the liberated areas of Karabakh and Eastern Zangazur, the potential of solar and wind power plants is 9,200 megawatts and the potential of wind in the Caspian Sea is 157 gigawatts.
So we have really an enormous resource base. Plus, of course, the new gas fields which we will engage in coming years, will add to the production of natural gas and using renewables will save more natural gas for export. So, it’s very advantageous situation which was built by our efforts and supported by the European Union. Today’s memorandum actually is a kind of a road map for the future. Taking into account that all what we planned before we accomplished, I am sure that will see great success.
Among other issues which we discussed today was issue of connectivity and taking into account geographical location of Azerbaijan and modern transportation infrastructure, we need to work more actively on connecting our potential. Because here on the Western shore of the Caspian Azerbaijan has the biggest trade fleet in the Caspian-modern infrastructure, ship-building yard, new Sea Port and railroad connecting us with all our neighbors. And there is a big demand to have joint efforts in order to make connectivity as important in our relationship as energy. Of course, our agenda is very broad. We are working on a new agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan. We just discussed it with Madam President, and hopefully in coming months we can complete it. That will also be an important contribution to our bilateral cooperation.
We work on bilateral track within the framework of Eastern Partnership program and EU is the main trading partner for Azerbaijan. Implementing our plans, of course, will increase the joint turnover to the benefit of our peoples and relationship between EU and Azerbaijan, I am sure, will have a great future and all what we planned we will achieve," the head of state said.