Turkmenistan displays interest in AGRI pipeline project

Turkmenistan displays interest in AGRI pipeline project

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, May 13 / Trend H.Hasanov /
Turkmenistan expressed interest in participation in the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector (AGRI) gas pipeline project at a high level.

A joint statement issued by Turkmen President Gurbangulu Berdimuhamnedov and Romanian President Traian Basescu reads. Berdimuhamnedov is on an official visit a to Bucharest on May 11-13.

"The sides noted the importance of Turkmen natural gas supplies to the European sector, including through Nabucco and AGRI that are priority for Romania," the document reads.

In addition, both sides expressed support for diversification of supply sources and their transportation routes as the main premise of ensuring energy security at the regional and global levels, and reached a consensus to further develop mutually beneficial energy partnership. "

AGRI project envisages the delivery of liquefied natural gas from Azerbaijan to Romania via the Black Sea coast of Georgia. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary signed the Baku Declaration on the draft AGRI on Sept. 14 in Baku.
The AGRI 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.
Later, the liquefied gas will be brought into the state of natural gas and will be directed towards covering the needs of Romania and other European countries.
The capacity of the AGRI Project is considered in three variants - 2 billion cubic meters of gas per year, 5 billion cubic meters and 8 billion cubic meters.
It is expected that Turkmenistan, participating in the project as a supplier, could supply liquefied natural gas across the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan for further transit to Europe.
Regarding the Nabucco project, then a 300-kilometer-branch to the Azerbaijani coast should be build on the Caspian seabed for the accession of Turkmenistan.
Earlier, construction of Nabucco was planned to be launched in 2012 and first supplies in 2015. Recently, construction has been postponed to 2013 . Maximal capacity of the pipeline will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year. Participants of the project are Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE companies. Each of participants has equal share to the amount of 16.67 percent. Nabucco Gas Pipeline International shareholders will invest 30 percent of total cost of the project, the rest 70 percent will be paid owing to loans.
Azerbaijan , Iraq and Turkmenistan are considered as the main suppliers for the project .

Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary signed a protocol within the implementation of the AGRI project on Feb.14 in Baku. The signed document stressed the need to support the companies participating in the project in attracting the necessary funding for the feasibility study. The paper notes that under the increased work means finding the shortest route of delivery of Azerbaijani gas to European markets, the creation of Interconnector Romania - Hungary (Arad-Szeged).
Earlier, the joint venture was registered in Romania within the AGRI project. The joint company will prepare a feasibility study of the new project and seek funding.
Participants of the project are Azerbaijani SOCAR, Oil and Gas Corporation of Georgia, the Romanian ROMGAZ and Hungarian MVM. Each has a 25 percent shareholding. In the future, Bulgaria also can join the project.

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