BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 11. The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is an important transport artery that provides long-term supplies of natural gas to European countries and Turkey, Ph.D. in Economics Ilgar Velizade told Trend.
"SGC project provides for participation of not only Azerbaijan, but also other states, in particular, negotiations are underway with Turkmenistan. The possibility is not ruled out that gas from Iraq, Israel and other sources will be supplied to Europe through this corridor,” Velizade said.
“In addition, Azerbaijan is actively implementing the second phase of the Shah Deniz project presently, which will increase the volume of natural gas supplies to infrastructure of SGC. We also know that large-scale projects are being implemented in Azerbaijan related to the transfer of electricity generated from renewable energy sources, which will allow redirecting saved gas to SGC,” he added.
Velizade also said that Azerbaijan annually produces 45-50 billion cubic meters of gas, and in coming years it is planned to replace natural gas with other energy carriers and increase supplies to foreign markets to at least 25- 30 billion cubic meters.
According to him, current infrastructure of SGC provides for the possibility to increase its capacity to 31 billion cubic meters. This is not the limit, and traffic capacity can grow due to additional stations and facilities," Velizade noted.
The expert noted that prospects for deliveries through the SGC of not only natural gas, but also hydrogen are being considered quite substantively.
"It is planned to start the production of hydrogen raw materials in Azerbaijan. This type of fuel today is one of the most in demand, apart from traditional ones, and in the future its role will only grow,” expert said.
“All this suggests that this project has great future. The SGC strategy is being implemented in full with the tasks that were set in previous years and will be set in the future," Velizade added.
In turn, MP of Azerbaijan, Doctor of Economic Sciences, Professor Rufat Guliyev told Trend that Azerbaijan will be able to receive additional income for transit by attracting other countries to participate in SGC, which can be attributed to profit from non-oil sector.
“Azerbaijan, in addition to railway, sea and other routes and logistics mechanisms, still uses its abilities to pump gas to other countries. Widely branched network of oil and gas pipelines will enable Azerbaijan to use them in the interests of third countries," Guliyev added.
MP also noted that President Ilham Aliyev stated in his speeches that Azerbaijan transported more than nine billion cubic meters of gas through the SGC in 2021.
"A number of countries has approached us on the issue of increasing gas supplies. This indicates that Azerbaijan is turning into one of largest players in our region. In addition, it is planned to expand gas supplies to 16-18 billion cubic meters in the future,” Guliyev said.
“This will be very tangible support for the economy of our country and the energy sector of Europe. Based on the fact that the annual gas consumption in Europe is about 500 billion cubic meters, we can say that the potential of Azerbaijan as a gas supplier is growing rapidly,” professor noted.
“The events taking place in the world will strengthen Azerbaijan's position in the energy market," Guliyev added.
According to deputy, large gas reserves have been discovered in Turkey, which is a premise for the implementation of joint projects with Azerbaijan.
"The SGC Consortium is fully satisfied with this project. World financial institutions are ready to provide loans to our country at the lowest interest rates. They see economic and political stability in Azerbaijan,” he said.
“Pragmatic and rational policy of our president contributes not only to the stability of energy market, but also to economic. This is the ingenious and wise strategy of President Ilham Aliyev, the foundations of which were laid by national leader Heydar Aliyev," Guliyev emphasized.
He also noted that Azerbaijan does not take advantage of rising gas prices on world markets and continues to sell natural gas at a previously agreed price.