Southern Gas Corridor to help Europe to switch to cleaner energy
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec.19
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The Southern Gas Corridor project, which envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, will help the continent to switch to cleaner energy, Ziba Norman, director of the UK Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute, told Trend.
“The push for cleaner energy in Europe means gas is becoming more desirable, especially given recent large scale environmental protests in major European capitals. The SGC will be part of achieving these goals, and is a very positive step for the relationship between Europe and Azerbaijan, and one that certainly reflects real market needs,” she said.
The expert pointed out that the truly interesting question here is what the future holds for the Southern Gas Corridor.
“Diversification of supply was, naturally, a significant aspect of European support for the project. And it does provide this, at least in some measure. That is not, however, the whole story. Phase II of this project, if flow through capacity is to be extended to 20 bcms, mean alternatives to the Shah Deniz will be needed. From a legal standpoint, as there is no 3rd party exemption in place for the extension, competition is open, subject only to certain rules,” Norman explained.
Taking this from the European perspective, there is a possibility that Russia’s Gazprom would consider the utilization of SGC desirable, according to the expert. “Russia will also be looking to diversify its routes and may consider an extended SGC for transit.”
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority projects for the EU and envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe.
The launching ceremony of the first stage of the Southern Gas Corridor was held in Baku on May 29, 2018, while opening ceremony of TANAP’s Phase 0 was held on June 12, 2018 in the Turkish city of Eskisehir. TANAP-Europe connection was opened on Nov.30 in Ipsala, Edirne, Turkey.
Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) were connected on the Turkish-Greek border.
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