EU Highly Values Azerbaijan's Commitment To Contributing To Energy Security - ECIPE

The European Union highly appreciates Azerbaijan’s commitment to contribute to…

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)

Baku, Azerbaijan, 1 August. Everyone in the EU understands the growing importance of Azerbaijan and the Caspian region in the field of energy security, Tengiz Bakhaladze, a non-resident senior fellow at the European Center for International Political Economy (ECIPE), told Trend.

The role of Azerbaijan is growing rapidly. The European Union highly appreciates Azerbaijan’s commitment to contribute to energy security. Azerbaijan is not just a reliable partner. The political leadership of Azerbaijan always understands the current development trends, aims at development and cooperation and always offers solutions.

Speaking about the memorandum of gas exports increase, which was recently signed between Azerbaijan and the EU, the expert noted that this is a clear sign that the EU considers Azerbaijan an important partner.

The signing of this memorandum was a very right decision on both sides. The Southern Gas Corridor used to be ranked second. Today, the enormous capabilities of Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea are recognized, especially with regard to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), and the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP). It is clear that the EU is ready to enter into serious negotiations with Azerbaijan.”

In terms of pipeline capacity and potential expansion, the expert explained that this is largely achievable and mostly depends on political will.

In the 1990s, when the challenges were greater, the two parties were able to reach an agreement, precisely because of political will, and now the EU, Azerbaijan, Georgia and other parties are benefiting from the results. Thus, this note is a sign of the strong political will of both the EU and Azerbaijan.

According to Bakhaladze, when calculating the capacity of the pipelines, other participants were considered, besides Azerbaijan.

Today there is also a huge potential for Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan for further cooperation in joint energy projects. Therefore, if other countries in the Caspian region also joined, the advantage of each aspect would be great.

On July 18, 2022, a “Memorandum of Understanding on the Strategic Partnership in Energy between the European Union represented by the European Commission and the Republic of Azerbaijan” was signed between Azerbaijan and the European Union.

The two sides agreed to support bilateral trade of natural gas, including through exports to the European Union, through the Southern Gas Corridor, with at least 20 billion cubic meters of gas per year by 2027, according to commercial viability and market demand.

According to the document, any other natural gas exports to the EU other than those delivered so far will require significant investments in the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline network and upstream project development.

Moreover, the EU and Azerbaijan will encourage financing of the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline network taking into account the EU’s climate policies and its REPowerEU strategy, including through cooperation with international financial institutions.

Sides will also support the infrastructure to be ready for conversion to transport renewable gases, including hydrogen and its derivatives. This entails that the new infrastructure be able to carry renewable and low-carbon gases, including hydrogen and its derivatives, as well as make the existing infrastructure ready to face the future and hydrogen.

The two sides expressed their aspiration to promote mutually beneficial natural gas trade, anticipate future trade in hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives, other renewable gases (bio-methane, etc.), and renewable electricity.

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