Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 14
By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:
Tomorrow, on February 15, Europe will once again focus on Baku. The fourth meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council will take place in Azerbaijan’s capital - Baku, and it will turn into the gas capital of whole Europe for a while.
The significant meetings of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council every year break records. The upcoming meeting is no exception. The event will bring together representatives of 14 countries, seven international financial institutions, the EU delegation led by European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic, as well as the companies involved in the implementation of this big $40-billion project.
The debut participation of Romania and Turkmenistan in the discussions of the project, the arrival of Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs of the Bureau of Energy Resources in the US Department of State Sue Saarnio and UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Baroness Emma Nicholson are also worth noting.
The discussions on the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, including its complementary projects covering Europe [the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) and Ionic-Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) projects] are planned to be held and a number of the most important documents on further development of the project are planned to be signed during the ministerial meeting.
In general, the project initiated by Azerbaijan, drew the attention of the whole world.
The Europeans dream about getting Azerbaijani gas as soon as possible, which will become the long-awaited diversification and an alternative to the current sources of gas supplies for them. In its turn, Azerbaijan not only offered Brussels a remedy for ‘headache’, but also moved from words to actions, by implementing the project.
Of course, the US, having its own interests in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, also understands that. Earlier in an exclusive interview with Trend, representative of the US Department of State Sue Saarnio said that the Southern Gas Corridor will make a significant contribution to Europe’s energy security and stressed the great progress in the project implementation.
Saarnio called the Southern Gas Corridor the only big pipeline which is under construction that will ensure a new source and a new route for gas supply to Europe. Such a project would not have been implemented without the coordinated and constant efforts of numerous interested sides from the public and private sectors of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Albania, Greece, Italy, UK and a number of other countries.
Saarnio’s important statement was that the US government from the very beginning supported this project, as it earlier supported the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline project.
Saarnio also said that the Southern Gas Corridor may become the basis for positive cooperation across the region, ensuring access to a number of gas producers with a stable source of export earnings, thereby assisting in maintaining Europe's long-term energy security and we will witness such cooperation tomorrow.