Azer­bai­jan gains im­por­tance as new com­mer­cial trans­porta­tion cor­ri­dor

Azer News - - Nation - By Rashid Shiri­nov

Azer­bai­jan gains im­por­tance as a new com­mer­cial trans­porta­tion cor­ri­dor, the U.S. am­bas­sador to Azer­bai­jan Robert Cekuta said at the Fifth Frank­furt Gas Fo­rum on De­cem­ber 14.

The am­bas­sador noted Azer­bai­jan is de­vel­op­ing into an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant tran­sit hub, which makes it key to a global ven­ture – the New Silk Road.

Cekuta re­minded that in late Oc­to­ber, the Azer­bai­jani and Turk­ish Pres­i­dents, along with top fig­ures from Ge­or­gia and a num­ber of Cen­tral Asian coun­tries of­fi­cially in­au­gu­rated the Baku-Tbil­isi-Kars rail­road.

“This new mod­ern rail link, along with the new port of Alat south of Baku on the Caspian, will pro­vide a sur­face route con­nect­ing East and South Asia with Western Europe. Rather than tak­ing 35 days to move goods by ship be­tween Shang­hai and Ham­burg, th­ese new rail and ferry links could en­able goods to travel this same dis­tance in 11 to 14 days,” the en­voy said.

He added that th­ese new sur­face con­nec­tions aug­ment the air cor­ri­dor al­ready used through Azer­bai­jan’s airspace, in ad­di­tion to the new, mod­ern air cargo fa­cil­i­ties.

The Baku-Tbil­isi-Kars rail­way was con­structed on the ba­sis of the Azer­bai­jan-Ge­or­gia-Turkey in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal agree­ment. The main pur­pose of the project is to im­prove eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the three coun­tries and gain for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment by con­nect­ing Europe and Asia.

The project im­ple­men­ta­tion be­gan in 2007 and con­struc­tion be­gan in 2008. The line is in­tended to trans­port one mil­lion pas­sen­gers and 6.5 mil­lion tons of freight at the first stage. This ca­pac­ity will then reach 3 mil­lion pas­sen­gers and 17 mil­lion tons of cargo.

Dur­ing his speech, Cekuta also said that the dis­cov­ery and devel­op­ment of the Shah Deniz 2 gas de­posit makes Azer­bai­jan an im­por­tant con­trib­u­tor to Euro­pean – and thus global – en­ergy se­cu­rity.

“The tech­nol­ogy be­ing de­vel­oped in Azer­bai­jan to ex­tract gas from the Shah Deniz 2 field will be used else­where, in­clud­ing to get at hy­dro­car­bons in the Gulf of Mex­ico,” the am­bas­sador noted.

Re­mind­ing that the Shah Deniz 2 gas will be a source for the South­ern Gas Cor­ri­dor Project, the en­voy said that the project with a bud­get in ex­cess of $40 bil­lion, and a 3,500 kilo­me­ter pipe­line cross­ing six coun­tries, go­ing from be­low sea level to el­e­va­tions of more than 2,500 me­ters, pro­vides a new source of nat­u­ral gas to mil­lions in Europe, boost­ing en­ergy se­cu­rity glob­ally.

“Look­ing at the four chief com­po­nents, the devel­op­ment of the gi­ant Shah Deniz 2 gas field it­self is 97 per­cent com­plete. The ex­pan­sion of the mas­sive San­gachal ter­mi­nal south of Baku is 99.8 per­cent com­plete, and con­struc­tion of the pipe­line across Azer­bai­jan and Ge­or­gia is 98 per­cent com­plete. Con­struc­tion of the Trans Ana­to­lian Pipe­line or TANAP is 93 per­cent fin­ished and work on the South­ern Gas Cor­ri­dor project’s fourth com­po­nent, the Trans Adri­atic Pipe­line TAP, which will ini­tially bring 10 bcma [bil­lion cu­bic me­ters per an­num] of gas to Italy, is 57 per­cent com­plete,” Cekuta said.

Shah Deniz 2 is a gi­ant project that will add a fur­ther 16 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters per year (bcma) of gas pro­duc­tion to the ap­prox­i­mately 9 bcma pro­duced by Shah Deniz 1. Be­ing one of the largest gas de­vel­op­ments in the world, the project will help in­crease Euro­pean en­ergy se­cu­rity by bring­ing Caspian gas re­sources to mar­kets in Europe.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Azerbaijan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.