Ilham Aliyev: Construction of Khankendi vessel shows Azerbaijan’s power (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted at 16:24)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 6
Construction of the Khankendi vessel demonstrates Azerbaijan’s power, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said Sept. 6.
He made the remarks in Baku at a ceremony to launch the new Khankendi subsea construction vessel for the Shah Deniz Stage 2, built by Baku Shipyard under an order by BP.
“I want to congratulate you on this wonderful event,” President Aliyev said addressing the ceremony. “The commissioning of the Khankendi vessel is indeed a historic event. I am happy that this big vessel was built in Azerbaijan, in Baku, and it was named Khankendi. This bears great significance.”
“Khankendi is our ancient city, and the name of Khankendi is very dear to us. It is no coincidence that the vessel, meeting unique world standards, was given exactly this name. Construction of this vessel demonstrates the power of our country and shows that any big construction work can be carried out in Azerbaijan today.”
“The construction of this vessel also means that the decision taken at one time to build a shipyard was correct. At that time, when taking this decision, we pursued this goal exactly – to ensure that Azerbaijan can build any type of vessel.”
The construction of this vessel also shows that there is no such a vessel that could not be built at the shipyard, President Aliyev said.
“Currently, four new vessels – two ferries and two tankers – are being built,” Ilham Aliyev added.
The head of state said the construction of the Khankendi vessel cost about $400 million.
“This demonstrates the power of our state. Services of this vessel in development of the Shah Deniz gas field will be indispensable. According to the information given to me today, there are only 10 vessels of this type in the world. One of them is in Azerbaijan, built in Azerbaijan, and the crew of this vessel mostly consists of Azerbaijani specialists. That is, trainings and preparatory work were conducted when building this vessel, and today, both the captain of the vessel and most of his crew are local staff.”
President Aliyev went on to say that development of the Shah Deniz field is a strategic project for Azerbaijan.
“I am glad that the work is going well in this area too,” he said, adding that preparatory work on Shah Deniz has been completed by 96 percent.
“It can be said that this project is already implemented. It is impossible to use Shah Deniz at great efficiency without this [Khankendi] vessel. We carry out all this work consistently. Investments were made and correct work with foreign partners was organized. Platforms, floating units, such big vessels, and the Sangachal terminal, as well as oil and gas pipelines are being built in Azerbaijan.”
“Major investments were made in a comprehensive, well-thought-out and planned way in the oil and gas sector of Azerbaijan. Today we see the results of it. Here, I want to note the joint activities of BP and SOCAR. As a result of this cooperation, historic achievements in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas sector are already a reality.”
The president also commended the activities of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company.
“Activities of the Shipping Company meet international standards. The company already operates with profit and pays big taxes to the budget. That means the successful development of our transport and energy infrastructure is a great contribution to the overall development of our country,” he said.
Touching upon the Shah Deniz field, Ilham Aliyev noted that its gas reserves amount to at least 1.2 trillion cubic meters.
“This is one of the largest gas fields in the world. Overall, our gas reserves amount to 2.6 trillion cubic meters. That means Azerbaijan will provide itself and many countries with natural gas for at least 100 years.”
“I want to congratulate the people of Azerbaijan on this historic event,” Ilham Aliyev went on to say. “I want to congratulate all citizens and specialists who participated in the construction of this vessel.”
“I would like to express my confidence that the Khankendi vessel will play its valuable role in the development of the Shah Deniz field and contribute to the strengthening of our country,” the president added.