25 Nov 2022 17:13

Azerbaijan hoping for soonest decision to enhance TAP pipeline capacity - Aliyev

BAKU. Nov 25 (Interfax) - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said he is hoping for the soonest decision to expand the capacity of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

"We are doing everything we can to ramp up energy supply, and to boost gas supply by the TAP. We are aware of the growing demand for Azerbaijani gas. However, that would require an enlargement of the TAP capacity. We cannot do this alone, as our share in the TAP is only 20%. Yet I am hoping that the respective decision will be made in the near future, because the TAP is already running at full capacity," Aliyev said at the international conference "Along the Middle Corridor: Geopolitics, Security and Economy" on Friday.

Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Azerbaijan has received applications from over ten European countries for either increasing or initiating gas supply to Europe, Aliyev said. "We are processing these requests," he said.

As for broadening the geography of supplies, Aliyev said, "We fully support the European initiative of building interconnectors. One of them, Greece-Bulgaria, was launched in Sofia in October, and I was there. The second one, between Bulgaria and Serbia, will be ready next year. Besides, we are actively working with the Albanian government on investment in the Albanian gas distribution network, which is non-existent for now. Albania is just a transit state. Yet they also need gas to meet local demand. In addition, there is a project to build an Ionian Adriatic Pipeline for three Balkan countries. That would require the involvement of all parties to the process, so that they make relevant steps in this area," he said.

The delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Europe through the TAP [which is part of the Southern Gas Corridor] for consumers in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria began on December 31, 2020. The pipeline was built to annually transport 10 billion cubic meters of gas from Stage 2 Shah Deniz field to Europe. Its capacity can be doubled to 20 bcm per year.

More than 18 bcm of Azerbaijani gas have been supplied to Europe though the TAP since December 30, 2020.

Azerbaijan exported 19 bcm of gas in 2021. The deliveries to Italy, Greece and Bulgaria exceeded 8.2 billion cubic meters. The exports are expected to reach 22 billion or 23 billion cubic meters, including 11.5 bcm for Europe, in 2022.

According to the Azerbaijani-EU agreement, Azerbaijani gas supply to Europe will reach 20 bcm per year by 2027.