Greek minister: ITGI system is most profitable solution for Azerbaijan

Greek minister: ITGI system is most profitable solution for Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 24 / Trend , A.Badalova /

Greek Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change George Papaconstantinou has today stated that the ITGI system is the most profitable solution for the Shah-Deniz consortium, Azerbaijan, EU and Greece.

"This is the best project from economic and technical points of view," he said at a press-conference in Baku on Monday.

The ITGI project is of strategic importance for Azerbaijan and Greece. The project promotes the strategic relations between the two countries, Papaconstantinou said.

The project will make Greece the gateway for the Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
He noted the importance of making a quick decision on the transportation route.
"There are also other pipeline projects on the table which can become a reality in the medium-term," he said. "ITGI is the bankable project to start immediately," he said.

Regarding the fiscal difficulties that Greece is facing today, Papaconstantinou said they will not affect the realization of the ITGI project.

"When you talk about credit risks, it less depends on the companies involved," he said.

"Current fiscal difficulties that we are facing now are not important, because investors will invest, if there are guarantees that consumers will pay."

The total estimated cost of the project is 1.5-2 billion euro. "The EU funds have already guaranteed 1 billion euro," Papaconstantinou said.

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development may also partly finance the project, he noted.

"The rest will be easily invested by the companies like Edison and DEPA, which has 0-% debt", he said.

DEPA CEO Harry Sachinis said Azerbaijan is very important for Europe, especially for the Southern Eastern Europe.

"The country is very important for the diversification of gas supply to this region," Sachinis said.

He said the ITGI project is very advanced compared to other pipeline projects.

The volume of 10 billion cubic meters of gas that Azerbaijan intends to export to Europe fits with the ITGI project's design capacity, he said.

One billion cubic meters will be transported to Bulgaria, one billion cubic meters - Greece and the rest 8 billion cubic meters - to Italy.

Sachinis stated that the pipeline is very flexible for further extension. The total capacity of the pipeline can reach 24 billion cubic meters (5 billion cubic meters - for SEE region, 3 billion cubic meters for Greece and 16 billion cubic meters for Italy).

Speaking about the fourth route that was recently proposed by BP, Sachinis said this route is pretty much like the extension of IGB, which will be in place in late 2013-early 2014. "So, ITGI system already contains this fourt export route," he added.

The ITGI project (Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline) is one of the three corridors that envisage the delivery of gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field to Europe, along with Nabucco and TAP.

It includes updated Turkish pipeline infrastructure, as well as projects ITG (Interconnector Turkey-Greece) and IGI (Italy-Greece interconnector). The designed capacity of ITGI pipeline is 11.8 billion cubic meters per year.

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