The expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor linking Azerbaijan with several EU member states is vital to a strategy that sees gas playing an important role in the transition to net zero carbon emissions, Trend reports with reference to an article of the EU Reporter.
According to the author of the article, after a meeting of the leaders of Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that they had agreed to push the European Commission to take ‘incisive measures’ on energy. He noted that Italy could weather a complete short term breakdown in gas supplies from Russia thanks to the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline, the European part of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Moreover, Spain is also promoting with an Italian energy infrastructure firm the construction of a new offshore gas pipeline that would extend the supply route to the Iberian Peninsula, said the article.
“The Trans-Adriatic operating company says capacity can be doubled from 10 billion to 20 billion cubic meters of gas a year. The capacity of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) across Turkey, itself a major consumer of Azeri gas, will be nearly doubled in the next four to five years, from 16 billion to 31 billion cubic meters. The issue of improving the gas connection between Greece and Bulgaria is being addressed as well,” said the article.
The article stressed that at a conference in Baku, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi described Azerbaijani gas as ‘a very valuable part of the EU’s energy balance’. He said it was also important to extend supplies to the EU candidate countries in the western Balkans in order to end their use of coal and reduce their emissions by 55 percent.
“Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson spoke diplomatically of ‘a delicate moment in terms of the security of gas supplies,” the article said. “She noted that Azerbaijan was a reliable and trusted partner. As well as massive oil and gas reserves, Azerbaijan has a growing renewable energy sector. President Ilham Aliyev has said that the joint energy policy goes beyond the issues of energy diversification and energy security, as it creates new links between countries and increases the level of mutual trust.”