Ilham Aliyev: Shah Deniz 2 of great importance for Azerbaijan (UPDATE 4)

Details added (first version posted on 13:33)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.1

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Shah Deniz Stage 2 project is of great importance for Azerbaijan, said the country’s President Ilham Aliyev Sept.1.

He made the remarks addressing the Shah Deniz Stage 2 Production and Risers Platform Jacket Sail Away Event.

“Dear friends, today is a very remarkable day for our country. We are sailing away the Shah Deniz 2 platform jacket,” said the president.

“I congratulate you, the whole Azerbaijani people with this remarkable event. This is a historical event,” said President Aliyev. “The contract on Shah Deniz was signed 20 years ago and throughout these years, it has been implemented successfully. All tasks are being fulfilled.”

President Aliyev noted that the platform jacket, which was sailed away today, shows that Azerbaijan is a country able to carry out great work.

“It is gratifying that the jacket and topside of the platform are fully constructed in Azerbaijan,” said the president. “The vast majority of those working on the construction of these grandiose facilities are Azerbaijani citizens. This is the result of the ‘Contract of the Century’.”

One of the conditions of the “Contract of the Century” signed in 1994 was that gradually, local specialists and workers should prevail, said the president.

“Today, over 80 percent of the workers are Azerbaijani citizens, and this means new jobs,” said Ilham Aliyev.

He pointed out that over 20,000 Azerbaijani citizens participate in the implementation of the Shah Deniz project, get good salary and gain experience.

Those citizens will work in other projects in the future, added the president.

President Aliyev noted that Shah Deniz 2 project is of great importance not only for Azerbaijan, but for the whole region and Europe.

Ilham Aliyev pointed out that the contract on Shah Deniz project was signed over 20 years ago and currently, the great results of this can be seen.

“Azerbaijani gas is being exported to the countries of the region for many years,” he said. “Azerbaijan has fully ensured its energy security and plays its role in ensuring the energy security of other countries. This role will gradually increase.”

“Shah Deniz and Southern Gas Corridor projects are among the greatest energy projects in the world,” said President Aliyev. “The construction of the Southern Gas Corridor continues successfully. All this work is carried out in a coordinated manner.”

“I am confident that the work carried out on schedule will be completed in 2018-2020 and thereby, even greater volumes of Azerbaijani gas will be transported to the neighbouring countries and European countries,” said the president.

The president said that the Southern Gas Corridor brings together seven countries.

“Azerbaijan continues its leadership activity in this sphere. Baku hosted two meetings of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Board in 2016,” he said.

“We have created a new format of the international cooperation. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Italy are participants of this project. Aside from that, three Balkan countries – Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia will join this project at the next stage,” said President Aliyev. “Thereby, new opportunities are opening up for the export of Azerbaijani gas to other countries as well in the future. This is created by us jointly with partners. This is created by Azerbaijani people.”

The president praised the role of SOCAR and BP in the work done for the implementation of this project.

“There is a great history of SOCAR-BP cooperation. This cooperation has been continuing for over 20 years and this is a successful collaboration. The work done and to be done will ensure the activity of SOCAR and BP as close partners at least for the next 20 years more,” said Ilham Aliyev.

The work to be done in Azerbaijan will bring even greater benefits both to foreign partners, foreign companies and SOCAR and Azerbaijani people,” he added.

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