BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.1. The European Union is exploring with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) the possibility of providing financial support to facilitate the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor, Kadri Simson, the EU Commissioner for Energy, said in an exclusive interview with Trend Feb.1.
Talking about the upcoming meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council to be held in Baku February 3, Commissioner Simson noted that it will be a great opportunity to both look back at how this project has helped the EU during this unprecedented energy crisis, and to reflect together on the next steps of our enhanced energy cooperation.
“A central topic in our discussions will be the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor. As you know, this is a project supported via our REPowerEU plan, and our new Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in the Field of Energy with Azerbaijan. We aim to increase its capacity to 20 billion cubic meters annually as of 2027. On top of the political support, we are now also exploring with the EBRD the possibility of providing financial support to facilitate its expansion,” she said.
Kadri Simson also expects that this year’s meetings will focus prominently on green energy and the clean energy transition.
“This is an important area of mutual interest both for Azerbaijan and for the EU, as set out in our recent MoU. The EU is ready to further support Azerbaijan in its green transition, including through the Economic Investment Plan,” she added.
Southern Gas Corridor started transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe on December 31, 2020. It transports of gas from the Caspian Sea region to European countries through Georgia and Türkiye.
This large-scale project is aimed at diversification of energy supply routes and sources, thereby contributing to strengthening Europe’s energy security. The project’s cost totaled $33 billion, as compared to the forecast $45 billion. Capital expenditures on the SGC project are expected to be fully reimbursed within 8-10 years.
Azerbaijan's export of natural gas to European Union market will stand at 11.6 billion cubic meters as of 2023. Total export of natural gas from Azerbaijan this year will be almost 24 billion cubic meters.
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