Baku, Azerbaijan, May 7
Azerbaijan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a loan agreement of $ 500 million to support the second stage of the Shah Deniz development project on Sunday, the Finance Ministry told Trend.
The agreement was signed by the Azerbaijani Minister of Finance Samir Sharifov and the head of ADB Takehiko Nakao on the margins of the annual meeting of the Bank's Board of Governors in Yokohama, Japan.
The strategic importance of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project was noted at the signing ceremony. The aim of the project is to ensure the energy security of Europe and diversify the sources of gas supplies. In addition to ADB, the World Bank, the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investments and a number of other international financial institutions will also participate in the project financing.
ADB President Takehiko Nakao said that Azerbaijan is a valuable partner and an important member of the bank, and expressed interest in further expanding of cooperation in the future.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline.