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Azerbaijan and EU discuss possible expansion of Southern Gas Corridor

Azerbaijan-EU cooperation on diversification of gas supplies, development of renewable energy and energy efficiency priorities were the topics discussed within the high-level energy dialogue between Azerbaijan and the European Union.

Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov said that the implementation of a document on strategic partnership between the EU and Azerbaijan in the field of energy necessitates strengthening joint efforts to increase natural gas exports from Azerbaijan to Europe by 2027 to 20 billion cubic metres (bcm).

“The supply of additional gas requires expanded supply routes,” he said. “From this point of view, the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor is a strategic priority. Significant investments and financial instruments are needed to start working on the expansion of the project and achieve progress. In this regard, the support of European partners is important.”

The Minister also stressed that along with the Southern Gas Corridor, the development of infrastructures that bring and diversify energy resources from a safe and reliable source to Europe, such as the Solidarity Ring route, as well as the Caspian-EU Green Energy Corridor, is important for comprehensive energy security.

Assessing Azerbaijan’s contribution to Europe’s energy security during the energy crisis, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said that as the EU is moving from crisis management to medium-term strategic planning, also looking into EU’s expected gas demand, which is one of the important questions around the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor.

“We support the expansion of the corridor. Today’s meeting helped us with crafting the next concrete steps. In line with our REPowerEU plan, the EU is already supporting our South Caucasus neighbours and partners in increasing their renewable energy generation,” she underlined. “Azerbaijan’s low methane emissions in the Caspian region, for example, would offer possibilities to jointly champion the country’s leading position as regards methane action.”

The energy dialogue continued with presentations and discussions on the current state of gas supply in Europe, the role of the Southern Gas Corridor in anti-crisis measures, renewable energy, energy efficiency, as well as gas infrastructure policies of the European Investment Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and financial instruments to support the development of green energy.

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