Georgian minister: AGRI can be implemented ahead of other pipeline projects
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 7 / Trend E.Ismayilov /
The Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector pipeline project (AGRI) can be implemented much earlier than other pipeline projects which focus on gas supplies to Europe, Georgian Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri told journalists in Baku.
"This is an important project; it can be implemented far ahead of other pipeline projects, including Nabucco", Khetaguri said.
Within the month, the company will announce a tender for a feasibility study, and results will be known in the fall.
The company was created by all four countries participating in the project.
Earlier, the joint venture was registered in Romania within the AGRI project. The joint company will prepare a feasibility study of the new project before seeking funding. Participants of the project are Azerbaijani SOCAR, Oil and Gas Corporation of Georgia, the Romanian ROMGAZ and Hungarian MVM. Each participating country holds a 25 percent share. A future project partner may be Bulgaria.
Khetaguri said that the feasibility study will take about 11 months to develop, after which the company will move to other aspects of development such as fundraising.
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 using tankers. Later, the liquefied gas will be brought into the state of natural gas and directed towards covering the needs of Romania and other European countries.
It is expected that Turkmenistan, by participating in the project as a supplier, could supply liquefied natural gas across the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan for further transit to Europe.
The cost of the AGRI project can vary from 1.2 billion to 4.5 billion euros.