(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, August 1. Everyone in the EU
understands the growing importance of Azerbaijan, and the Caspian
region, in the energy security, Tengiz Pkhaladze, a non-resident
senior fellow at the European Center for International Political
Economy (ECIPE), told Trend .
'Azerbaijan's role is growing rapidly. The EU highly values
Azerbaijan's commitment to contributing to the energy security.
Azerbaijan is not just a reliable partner. The political leadership
of Azerbaijan always understands the current development trends,
and aims at the development, cooperation, and always brings
solutions,' he said.
Talking about the memorandum on gas exports increase, recently
signed between Azerbaijan and the EU, the expert noted that this is
a clear sign that the EU considers Azerbaijan as a significant
'The signing of this memorandum was a very right decision on
both sides. The Southern Gas Corridor used to be of second
importance. Today the enormous capabilities Azerbaijan and the
Caspian Sea have, especially regarding the Trans Adriatic Pipeline
(TAP), and the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), are
being recognized. The EU is clearly ready to enter serious
negotiations with Azerbaijan,' Pkhaladze said.
Regarding the pipelines' capacity, and the potential expansion,
the expert explained that it is very much achievable and depends
mostly on the political will.
'In the nineties, when the challenges were greater, the sides
were able to reach the agreement, precisely due to the political
will, and now the EU, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and other parties
benefit from the results. Thus, this memorandum is a sign of a
strong political will both of the EU, and Azerbaijan,' he
According to Pkhaladze, when calculated, the capacity of the
pipelines was considered taking into account other participants,
'Today there is also a huge for potential for Azerbaijan and
Turkmenistan in further cooperation on joint energy projects. So,
if other countries of the Caspian region also join, the advantage
for each side would be remarkable,' he added.
On July 18, 2022, a 'Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic
Partnership in the field of energy between the European Union
represented by the European Commission and the Republic of
Azerbaijan' was signed between Azerbaijan and the European
The Sides agreed to support bilateral trade of natural gas,
including through exports to the European Union, via the Southern
Gas Corridor, of at least 20 billion cubic meters of gas annually
by 2027, in accordance with commercial viability and market
According to the document, any further exports of natural gas to
the European Union beyond those that are being delivered to date
will require significant investments in the expansion of the
Southern Gas Corridor pipeline network and the upstream project
Moreover, the EU and Azerbaijan will encourage financing of the
expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline network taking into
consideration the EU's climate policies and its REPowerEU strategy,
including through cooperation with international financial
The Sides will also support infrastructure to be
conversion-ready with a view to transporting renewable gases,
including hydrogen and its derivatives. This entails that new
infrastructure should be capable of carrying renewable and
low-carbon gases, including hydrogen and its derivatives, as well
as making existing infrastructure future-proof and hydrogen
The Sides expressed their aspiration to promote mutually
beneficial natural gas trade, anticipating future trade in
hydrogen, hydrogen-derivatives and other renewable gases
(bio-methane, etc.), and renewable electricity.
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