EU praises Nakhchivan for development of alternative energy
The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan (NAR) can become an example for some European countries in the development of renewable energy.
Belgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Bert Schoofs made the remarks at a press conference dedicated to the EU Days in the NAR.
The ambassador noted that Belgian companies are working in the field of solar energy generation in the NAR.
“Many countries talk about the importance of ensuring energy security, but in practice they fail to achieve significant results. In fact, energy security is ensured in Nakhchivan. We hope that in the future this field will develop even further in the NAR. Nakhchivan can become an example for some European countries in the development of renewable energy,” Schoofs said.
The Finnish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Arya Makkonen, in turn, noted that a Finnish company is also working in the NAR in the field of renewable energy sources.
“We are interested in the development of this cooperation in the future,” the ambassador added.
Addressing the event Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas said that the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project will be an important contribution of Azerbaijan to ensuring energy security in Europe.
“Azerbaijan and the EU have a long history of energy cooperation.The implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project will be an important contribution of Azerbaijan to the diversification of energy sources and ensuring the energy security of Europe,” the head of the delegation underlined.
Jankauskas also mentioned that Azerbaijan has great potential to develop such areas as solar energy generation, hydropower and wind energy.
Then he added that the NAR has achieved great success in the field of renewable energy sources.
The Southern Gas Corridor, which costs more than $40 billion, is one of the priority projects for the EU and provides for the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe.
The launching ceremony of the first stage of the SGC project was held in Baku on May 29. Presidents of Azerbaijan - Ilham Aliyev, Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Serbia Alexander Vucic participated in the ceremony.
The gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field has already gone through the first segment of the Southern Gas Corridor - from the Sangachal terminal to the expanded South Caucasus Pipeline.
Further, he mentioned that the number of European companies in Azerbaijan has increased from 300 to 385 in 2018.
The Head of the Delegation noted that it is the first time the EU organizes such a large-scale event in Nakhchivan. The event is attended by 60 EU representatives, including the representatives of 17 EU embassies.
Some European companies al- ready work in the NAR and these companies invest in such areas as renewable energy sources and agriculture, according to Jankauskas.
“The EU is Azerbaijan’s largest trading partner. The EU is also the largest investor in Azerbaijan's oil and non-oil sectors. We highly value Azerbaijan as a stable and reliable partner,” Jankauskas added.
Taking his turn, NAR Economic Development Minister Famil Seyidov stressed that more than $8.5 billion has been invested in the economy of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan for 23 years.
Seyidov noted that currently the share of the private sector in the economy of Nakhchivan is 89 per- cent, while in Azerbaijan as a whole this figure is at 84 percent.
According to him, the share of the private sector in the agricultural sphere of Nakhchivan is 100 percent, and in the industrial sector - 95 percent.
“Following the results of 2017, Nakhchivan supported foreign trade relations with 64 countries. The volume of foreign trade turnover of Nakhchivan amounted to $460 million, $423 million of which accounted for export share, and more than $36 million - for import operations. The surplus of foreign trade amounted to $386 million. In Nakhchivan there are currently 88 foreign individuals and legal entities. Nakhchivan mainly exports its goods to Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and other countries,” the minister said.
According to him, 24 percent of exports fell on agricultural products, and 76 percent - on manufactured goods.
“The main export items are electricity, metal, building materials, fruits, vegetables, meat products, etc. Nakhchivan mainly imports goods from the EU, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, etc.,” he said.
Seyidov also noted that a great progress has been made in the energy sector of Nakhchivan.