The messenger logo

Prime Minister Gharibahsvili visits Azerbaijan

By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, December 18
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili spoke of the importance of the Shah Deniz II Final Investment Decision signing ceremony in Baku on December 17. The project implementation will start in 2014.

Addressing the guests, the Georgian PM said this event aims at taking “crucial steps towards the common and deliberate aspiration for energy security and cooperation.”

"The implementation of a project like Shah Deniz with investments of around $40 billion in six different countries will definitely bring stability, economic growth and prosperity in these states, promote the development of regional market, as well as increase flexibility and energy security,” Gharibashvili said.

The PM also stressed that “the success of large transportation projects planned within the southern corridor will be secured only by balancing the interests of consumer, transit and producer countries.”

Talking about Azerbaijan as an important country in terms of addressing the energy security needs of the countries in the South Caucasus and the European Union, Gharibashvili also stressed that Georgia’s location makes the country a “transportation hub” for the region and a key link “in the shortest transit route between Europe and the Caspian region” together with Turkey.

The next steps of this long-term and sustainable multilateral energy cooperation will be aimed at advancing the Trans-Caspian development and intensifying talks with other countries of the Caspian region.

The contract to develop the offshore Shah Deniz field was signed on June 4, 1996. BP as an operator (25.5%), Norway's Statoil (25.5%), Iran's NICO (10%), France's Total (10 %), Russia's Lukoil (10 %), Turkey's TPAO (9 %) and SOCAR, the state oil company of Azerbaijan (10 %) are participants to the agreement.

President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, called this day historic for modern Azerbaijan.

“It is a project of energy security, energy diversification; a project of broad international cooperation between countries and companies involved in this historic project,” he said, stressing that this project would ensure long-term successful economic development.

Within the second phase of the field’s development, it is planned to produce some 16 billion cubic meters of gas, six billion of which will be transported to Turkey and six billion to Europe. The first gas supplies to Turkey as part of this project will start in 2018 and to Europe in 2019.

Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister, Natig Aliyev, said Azerbaijan has the capacity to export electricity to Georgia, but these opportunities have widened with the construction of new power facilities in the country. The minister also said that the connection of power systems of Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan will ensure their parallel work in the area of electricity supply.

The construction of pipelines – 387 km in Azerbiajan, 55 km in Georgian territory, two additional stations, and a new pressure regulation and gas measuring station installation in Georgia are on the agenda.

Georgian Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze said that in the framework of the second phase of the Shah-Deniz gas field, $400 -700 million will be invested in Georgia. According to the minister, the pipeline will provide not only additional natural gas, but several hundred permanent jobs as well.

Group Chief Executive of BP, Bob Dudley, said that very few projects have the ability to change “the energy map” of an entire region. Dudley said he is proud that BP can be part of this historic moment and grateful for the efforts of so many people in making this possible.

“Creating tens of thousands of jobs along the route of the pipelines in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Europe, this project represents the largest ever foreign investment to Azerbaijan," Dudley said.