Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 18 / Trend A.Badalova /
The European Union and Azerbaijan will hold the 3rd meeting on the enhanced implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of energy on February20, 2013, the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan reported on Friday.
According to the report, the representatives of the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission, European External Action Service and the Delegation of the EU to Azerbaijan will hold talks with the Ministry of Industry and Energy and other governmental bodies and agencies.
"Since the last MoU meeting, we have witnessed tremendous progress not only in the Southern Gas corridor but also more widely in our energy cooperation," Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, Ambassador Roland Kobia said.
"Here, I would like to mention the successful implementation of the EU Budget Support Programme that has helped the development of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan," he added.
According to Kobia, the forthcoming meeting comes ahead of crucial decisions on the Southern Gas Corridor, through which "Azerbaijan has the opportunity to consolidate its status of an energy strategic partner of the EU in providing a meaningful contribution to EU's energy security and diversification of sources throughout Europe.
"Azerbaijani gas deliveries to rules-based European markets will also contribute to the security and growth of Azerbaijan," Kobia said.
In November 2006, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a strategic partnership in the field of energy between the EU and Azerbaijan. Four priority areas of cooperation have been identified: harmonisation of legislation, enhancing security of supply and transit systems, development of Renewable Energy Sources and increased Energy Efficiency and technical cooperation. The implementaiton of the MoU was supported by a targeted Budget Support programme of 14 million euros that ended last year. The last meetings on the Memorandum of Understanding were held in February 2009 and February 2011.
The Southern Corridor is one of the EU's priority energy projects aimed at diversifying the routes and sources of energy supply, thereby increasing secure delivery. Gas which will be produced during the second stage of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects.
Currently, the Shah Deniz consortium is considering two variants for its gas transportation to Europe - Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and Nabucco West. The final decision on the pipeline route will be made in June, 2013.