Weekly actual topics in Azerbaijan (May 16-20)

Analysis Materials 24 May 2016 12:01 (UTC +04:00)

Managing Director: TAP to be able to transport more gas

The design if the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is flexible, which will enable it to transport more gas, and therefore contribute to an even greater extent to Europe's energy security and diversification, Ian Bradshaw, Managing Director at TAP AG said in an interview with Trend.

He mentioned that today, there is 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually from the second phase of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field development - gas which has been sold in September 2013 by the Shah Deniz consortium to several European markets.

"Our project can double capacity - to 20 bcm/a - by installing two additional compressor stations, and upgrading the initial compressor stations," Bradshaw said.

However, he said that it is too early to consider where additional supplies may come from, as this will be dependent a range of parameters such as volumes, timeline, economic as well as wider geopolitical considerations.

TAP, which is the part of the huge Southern Gas Corridor project, envisages transportation of gas from the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to the EU countries.

The European Commission repeatedly stated that the scalability of the Southern Gas Corridor is a crucial element for EU's energy security.

The 870-kilometer TAP will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy's south.

TAP's shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

A groundbreaking ceremony for TAP will be held May 17 in Thessaloniki, Greece.

North-South corridor to boost Azerbaijan's currency inflow

In the first year of operation of the North-South international transportation corridor, Azerbaijan will be able to get $50-70 million per year, Javid Gurbanov, head of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, said in an interview with The Business Year magazine.

"This project will connect the Persian Gulf with Malacca Bay through a multimodal transport system, as well as provide a connection to St. Petersburg and Helsinki through older railways built in Soviet times," he said. "We will be connected to Mumbai Port and Bandar Abbas Port."

"Current figures indicate that there are 5 million tons of cargo moving between India and Europe and about 7-9 million tons between Russia and Iran. We would enjoy the opportunity to be involved in some of this activity," Gurbanov added.

He noted that in the first year of operation of the new railway, it is planned to transport 2-5 million tons of cargo, with plans to increase capacity up to 20 million tons in the future.

"This effort will require some renovations and we will need to see the construction of additional facilities alongside some new, technical solutions," said the head of Azerbaijan Railways.

The North-South corridor will boost Azerbaijan's currency inflow and work to create new employment opportunities for Azerbaijani citizens, according to Gurbanov.

"If we can handle 2-5 million tons, we will be able to get $50-70 million and create 2,000-3,000 new jobs dealing with railways, maintenance, and so on," he added.

The North-South transportation corridor is meant to connect the Northern Europe with South-Eastern Asia. It will serve as a link for connecting the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.