Southern Gas Corridor enjoys political will to succeed

By: Gulgiz Dadashova

There is clear political will on the side of the countries involved in the Southern Gas Corridor project for it to succeed.

Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natig Aliyev made the remark at the 3rd Caspian Corridor Conference hosted by the EBRD in London on 12 March on Southern gas corridor and other regional issues.

“The Southern Gas Corridor project would not only bring a new source of energy to Europe, but also introduce cutting-edge technologies to the Caspian,” said Aliyev in a brief video comment about Southern Corridor now available on the EBRD’s YouTube channel.

The minister said the Southern Gas Corridor is a global, possibly unique, project in terms of its scope, financing, complexity – and in terms of a lot of construction being not only upstream but also midstream.

“Azerbaijan is able to self-finance all energy projects that should be implemented by 2020,” the minister further added.

The Caspian, or Southern, Corridor is very important because it provides more energy security for the consuming countries, in the European Union and in the Western Balkans, by diversifying sources and routes of supply, according to Riccardo Puliti, EBRD’s Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources.

“The project also provides a big opportunity for Turkey and other countries like Georgia, transit countries, to become more important. It is very important, of course, for producing countries, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan,” he said ahead of the conference.

The 3,500-kilometer South Gas Corridor that would finally end Europe’s dependence on a single pipeline started with the go-ahead to the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion, which will connect the Sangachal terminal with eastern Turkey through Georgia. It will link up with the SOCAR-led TANAP to be connected with a third pipeline TAP on the Turkish-Greek border.

TANAP construction is due to be completed in 2018 and TAP in 2020 with first gas deliveries to Europe planned in the same year. The cost of the work on all four elements of the Southern Gas Corridor was estimated at almost $45-48 billion, according to the preliminary data.