Azerbaijan, Baku, May 8 / Trend, E. Kosolapova /
Georgia is interested in the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project, as it has the ability to help the country diversify its gas supply, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Georgia Marika Valishvili told Trend by telephone on Wednesday.
"We will be very glad if Central Asian gas can be piped to Georgia via the pipeline", Valishvili said.
According to her, the main component of Georgia's energy security plan is the diversification of energy sources and supply routes. Georgia plans to establish alternative routes of gas supplies in the long term.
"We are ready to consider all avenues of security in regards to our gas supply. We have no illusions about the completion of this process in the coming months. This is very intense work," Valishvili said.
According to the deputy minister, Georgia is also considering the use of Russian gas. Russia and Azerbaijan are the closest gas suppliers to Georgia. However, the final decision on any alternative gas supplier will depend on price and volume along with other factors.
According to Valishvili, no measures aimed at diversification of gas supply sources have been undertaken or planned at this point in time.
"Alternatives are being considered," Valishvili said.
The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, at a length of nearly 300 kilometers, will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to the Azerbaijani coast.
Negotiations on the construction of the pipeline between Turkmenistan, the EU and other countries have been ongoing since the late 1990s.
The negotiation process was intensified after the European Union delivered a mandate to start negotiations on the preparation of an agreement between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Trans-Caspian project in September 2011.
However, Iran and Russia later expressed negative attitudes on the project. Tehran and Moscow think that construction of the pipeline may damage the Caspian Sea's ecology.
Earlier, the Azerbaijani Minister of Industry and Energy Natig Aliyev said that two documents related to the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project are at their final stages and must be signed at the highest levels in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the European Commission, as well as by the two littoral states.