“We consider the Southern Gas Corridor to be a vital element of the Energy Union”, European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said in the video address to the participants of the 4th International Caspian Energy Forum – 2017 on Wednesday (April 12), Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports.
“The Energy Union is about the EU member states working together to create a common energy market, which is secure, competitive and sustainable. But the Energy Union is not only about our member states. It is, to a larger extent, about our relations with our energy partners around the world, and Azerbaijan being a very important one. We are confident about receiving Azerbaijani gas in Europe by 2020. This will help the EU further diversify its energy sources. It will help us to use gas as a transitional fuel as part of our decarbonisation efforts. And this is why the objective of bringing Caspian gas to the European market has been on the agenda for a while now. In fact, the Joint Declaration on the Southern Gas Corridor was signed with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev already back in early 2011. This indicates not only the time which has been invested into this process, but also the political level at which it is being promoted. Myself, I have attended each of every Advisory Council meeting in Baku over the past three years, practically since I assumed my current role. But it is not about talking about what we have been doing. It is about the reality which is emerging on the ground. Contracts have been signed and concrete construction is already ongoing on all the projects of the Southern Gas Corridor. These include the upstream Shah Deniz 2 gas field, the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline and the major Trans Anatolian and Trans Adriatic pipelines. These pipeline projects have received the status of the projects of the common EU interests. They have already or are being in the process of receiving financial assistance by major international financial institutions, including the European ones”, Maroš Šefčovič stressed.
“This remarkable progress is not only due to the enormous effort and commitment of all the countries involved. It is also thanks to the atmosphere of trust and cooperation we have established over the years. Here, I would also like to stress the personal involvement and commitment of President Ilham Aliyev also demonstrated during his recent visit to Brussels two months ago. This visit officially launched the negotiations on the new EU-Azerbaijan comprehensive framework agreement. I am confident that this agreement will further strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan. As I have mentioned, the Energy Union is about security, competitiveness and sustainability of our energy. Our cooperation already serves all three objectives. But there is much more we can do together, especially on decarbonisation efforts, for example, on advancing renewable energy sources and on increasing energy efficiency. Achieving a clean energy transition is the core of the Paris Agreement. It provides a unique opportunity to boost investment, economic growth and create jobs. Last November the Commission launched a package which proposes to raise our energy efficiency target to 30% and to make it binding. This shows you that we are serious about tackling these issues. Here again, our commitment does not stay in Europe. We are eager to show global leadership on the energy transition. The European Union is therefore ready to provide its experience and assistance to other countries around the world. We remain ready to support the Republic of Azerbaijan, its transition to a low-carbon economy”, Maroš Šefčovič said, congratulating the organisers of the 4th International Caspian Energy Forum.
“I would like to particularly congratulate the Caspian Energy journal on its 100th anniversary issue, and the Caspian European Club on its 15th anniversary. I wish you a very successful and fruitful discussion. My best regards from Brussels”, he concluded.