Foreign Ministry: Selling Georgian ‘North-South’ gas pipeline to SOCAR not included in agenda
Georgia, Tbilisi, Jan.17 / Trend, N. Kirtskhalia /
Acquiring the Georgian gas pipeline "North-South" by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) will not be discussed during the Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze's visit to Baku on Jan. 18-19, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze, said at a press briefing today.
"At this stage, this topic is not included in a list of the issues to be discussed by the Georgian side. This issue is not discussed at the state level," Kalandadze noted.
The pipeline is under the authority of Oil and Gas Corporation of Georgia (OGCG), which is owned by the state. The Gas Transportation Company, which is a division of OGCG, operates with the gas supplies through the Georgian section of the pipeline.
Earlier, SOCAR representatives already expressed interest in acquiring the gas pipeline, which is excluded by Georgia from the list of objects that cannot be privatized.
According to SOCAR, the gas pipeline can be used within the gas transportation project Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romanian Interconnector (AGRI).
Three capacity volumes are being considered for the project: 2 billion cubic meters of gas a year, 5 billion cubic meters, and 8 billion cubic meters, Minister of Industry and Energy, Natig Aliyev, said earlier. According to preliminary data, the cost varies from 1.2 billion to 4.5 billion euros depending on capacity.
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary signed the Baku Declaration on the AGRI project in Baku Sept. 14.
The project envisages transporting Azerbaijani gas via pipelines to the Black Sea coast of Georgia, where the gas will be liquefied at a special terminal. The gas will then be delivered to a terminal at the Romanian port of Constanta via tankers.