Launch of SGC a happy moment for Azerbaijan, EU: Daniilidis

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The launch of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is a happy moment for Azerbaijan and the EU, Denis Daniilidis, first adviser to the head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, told Trend June 14.

He said that June 12 was a very important day, because the ceremony to launch TANAP took place in Turkey’s Eskisehir city.

“The ceremony was held with participation of presidents of several countries, including Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev,” Daniilidis said. “The SGC has become a reality. The next step will be the launch of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). Everything will take place in accordance with the plan, nothing has changed for us. I think those who had any doubts about the implementation of the SGC had to reconsider their views on June 12.”

He noted that the launch of TANAP is a clear signal of the parties’ commitment to working together to implement the SGC, which will bring the Azerbaijani gas to the European market in two years.

“I’d like to congratulate Azerbaijan and those who got this far-sighted idea,” he said. “I believe that more integrative projects in such spheres as transportation will become the next step in the development of relations, because Azerbaijan intends to play a big role as a transportation hub. We started a strategic dialogue between the EU and Azerbaijan on the transportation sector, which is very important. The SGC is already here, it is a reality, it is something that unites the EU and Azerbaijan. We need to try to implement more projects that unite peoples and our commercial interests.”

He noted that the EU and Azerbaijan are strategic energy partners.

“There is a memorandum of understanding on energy partnership, and at the moment we are in talks on a new agreement that will be more ambitious and comprehensive than the previous one, because it will cover more spheres,” Daniilidis added. “Azerbaijan, as a country, has changed greatly in recent years, and the EU has also changed. So, let’s be optimistic about the new agreement, which I hope will ensure stronger integration among our peoples, companies and administrations.”

The official opening ceremony of the SGC was held at the Sangachal terminal, Baku, May 29.

The SGC, worth over $40 billion, is considered as one of the priority energy projects for the EU, which strives for diversification of gas sources. The project envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.

At an initial stage, the gas to be produced in the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.

As part of the Shah Deniz Stage 2, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets via the South Caucasus Pipeline, Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).