BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.8.Slovakia is ready to adjust its existing infrastructure to enable increased gas supplies from Azerbaijan, Slovakian Ministry of Economy told Trend.
"Slovak Transmission System Operator, supported by the Slovak Government, has been preparing a corridor for the Azerbaijani gas to increase security of supply in the region of the South- Eastern Europe. The initial idea (former Eastring project) was to develop a route enabling to import to Europe 20 bcm of non-Russian gas. This initial idea has been further developed to current vision of achieving immediate transmission capacity amounting 5 bcm/year, with just minor adjustment of currently used infrastructure in cooperation with TSOs from Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria," said the ministry.
The Slovakian ministry said that amid the current geopolitical situation, this idea has become more significant.
"This was confirmed also at the EU high political level by the Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in the Field of Energy signed by the European Commission and Azerbaijan in July 2022 which includes a commitment to double the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor to deliver at least 20 billion cubic metres to the EU annually by 2027.
This would contribute to the diversification objectives in the REPowerEU Plan and help Europe to end its dependency on Russian gas. In line with the Memorandum between the EU and Azerbaijan, Slovakia and other countries are ready to adjust existing infrastructure in cost efficient way to enable to deliver increased Azerbaijani gas quantities to Europe," said Slovakian Ministry of Economy.
Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria have asked the European Commission to allocate funds for developing infrastructure to get additional natural gas from Azerbaijan.
It is about developing the existing infrastructure, construction of new interconnectors and expanding the capacity of the existing ones. It is important to increase the number of interconnectors in Europe in order to boost gas imports from Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s gas exports to Europe began on December 31, 2020 with the commissioning of the Southern Gas Corridor comprising of the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion, the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
Azerbaijan's export of natural gas to European Union market will stand at 11.6 billion cubic meters as of 2023.