More countries in Europe might eventually join the Southern Gas Corridor project, which has entered the final stage, according to Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov.
“The Southern Gas Corridor project, which is being implemented by seven countries and many companies, has entered the final stage. The project is strategic from the angle of changing the world energy map,” Shahbazov said at the 55th Munich Security Conference.
“In the future, the project might involve more countries in Europe, which demonstrates the increasing role of the Southern Gas Corridor in the provision of European energy security,” Shahbazov added.
The $40 billion, 3,500-km chain of pipelines consists of three projects: The South Caucasus pipeline extension via Azerbaijan and Georgia, the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) across the Turkish territory and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) crossing Greece and Albania to reach Italy.
The first stage of the Southern Gas Corridor was inaugurated in Baku on May 29, 2018, and TANAP was commissioned on June 12, 2018 in the Turkish city of Eskisehir.
Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II gas field is considered to be a founding link for the Southern Gas Corridor, aiming to bring additional and alternative natural gas volumes to EU member countries, including from Turkmenistan via the planned Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP) in the future.
Output from Shah Deniz II is expected to reach 16 bcm of natural gas per year, with 10 bcm earmarked for Europe and 6 bcm for Turkey. Gas delivery to western regions of Turkey started in summer 2018. The annual delivery of 10 bcm of Azerbaijani gas to Europe is due to begin in early 2020.
Considered as a natural eastward extension of the Southern Gas Corridor, the 300-km Trans-Caspian Pipeline’s projected capacity is 30 bcm of Turkmen gas per year for at least 30 years with its transfer from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to the Azerbaijani coast.
Turkmenistan is famous by its colossal gas resources taking the fourth place in the world by volumes.