18 Jul 2018 18:35

Italy hopes for successful implementation of Southern Gas Corridor project - president

BAKU. July 18 (Interfax) - The Southern Gas Corridor project is enormously important for Europe, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said.

"We praise Italy's and Azerbaijan's efforts to implement the Southern Gas Corridor project. Both sides will seek to find ways to resolve this issue that meet common interests, because the Southern Gas Corridor, the Caspian Region, and Caspian gas are very important for Europe," Mattarella said in a joint statement for the press with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on Wednesday.

The Southern Gas Corridor project is playing a vital role in the expansion of relations between Azerbaijan and the European Union, Aliyev said.

"A large part of this $40-billion project has already been implemented. This year, the official opening of the Southern Gas Corridor was held in Baku, and the opening of the TANAP gas pipeline, which is the main part of the Southern Gas Corridor project, was held in Eskisehir. Work is proceeding successfully, and this is also playing an important role for enhancing EU-Azerbaijan relations," Aliyev said.

Aliyev launched the Southern Gas Corridor on May 29.

The primary components of the project are the second stage of the Shah-Deniz project, the expansion of the South Caucasian trunk pipeline from Baku to Georgia to the Turkish border, the construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) from the eastern to the western Turkish borders, and the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), connecting Greece, Albania, and southern Italy.

Ten billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas are expected to be shipped to Europe in 2020. Another six billion cubic meters will be shipped to western Turkey. Gas supplies to Turkey will begin in the second half of the year.

The TANAP commissioning ceremony was held on June 12, and commercial gas supplies began on June 30.