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Greece negotiating to buy Azerbaijani gas: PM

Business Materials 18 February 2009 10:32 (UTC +04:00)
Greece negotiating to buy Azerbaijani gas: PM

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 17 / Trend , A.Badalova, E.Ostapenko/

Greece is currently negotiating the supply of up to 1 billion cubic metres of Azeri natural gas per year, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis said in his interview with Trend .

"This amount is intended to cover the interim period, until the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) commences operating in 2013," Karamanli said.

ITGI transport corridor which will transport Azerbaijani gas to Greece and Italy includes updated Turkish pipeline infrastructure and also ITG projects (Turkey-Greece junction pipeline) and IGI. Greece-Italy junction pipeline is a missing link of Turkey-Greece-Italy transport corridor which enables to transport gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to Italy and West Europe via Turkey and Greece. The designed carrying capacity of ITGI is 12bln cu m per year. 

Speaking about the Nabucco pipeline, Karamanlis said that it is a project intending to increase the diversification of natural gas supplies of European markets.

The Nabucco project worth 7.9 billion euro will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU by 2013. Construction of the pipeline is expected to begin in 2010. Its maximum capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters per year. The gas pipeline will be constructed in 2011 and the first deliveries via the pipeline will begin in 2014.

"The EU has characterized both Nabucco and the ITGI as priority projects,  since they will both enhance  Europe's energy security and  will contribute to the development of the Southern Corridor," Karamanlis said.

"These two projects are also consistent with the priorities set by the European Second Strategic Energy Review, which calls for the diversification of routes and supply sources," he said.  "In this respect these projects are complementary."

It is obvious, however, that Greece focuses on the implementation of the ITGI project, the prime minister added.

"The Turkey-Greece section is already operating since November 2007 and the on-shore and off-shore sections of the Greece Italy Interconnection are at an advanced stage of development," Karamanlis said.

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