Slovakia is ready to adapt the existing infrastructure for gas imports from Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Economy of the European country said, Trend news agency reports today, February 9.
“The Slovak operator, with the support of the government, is preparing a project for a corridor for the import of Azerbaijani gas to improve the reliability of supplies in the region of South-Eastern Europe. The original idea (the former Eastring project) was to develop a route that would allow Europe to import 20 billion cubic meters of non-Russian gas. This idea was further developed and it was decided to immediately import 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year with only minor adjustments to the currently used infrastructure in cooperation with the transmission system operators of Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria”, — said in the department.
They stressed that “against the background of the current geopolitical situation, this idea has become more important.”
“These are (plans to increase gas supplies from Azerbaijan. — Red.) was confirmed by the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Energy Partnership between the European Commission and Azerbaijan in July 2022, which provides for doubling the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor to ensure the supply of at least 20 billion cubic meters per year to the EU by 2027”, — recalled in Bratislava.
Confidence is also expressed that the adaptation of Slovakia and its neighbors to the supply of blue fuel from the Caspian region will contribute to the achievement of diversification goals under the REPowerEU plan and “help Europe get rid of dependence on Russian gas.”
“In accordance with the Memorandum between the EU and Azerbaijan, Slovakia and other countries are ready to adjust the existing infrastructure in a cost-effective way to ensure the supply of additional volumes of Azerbaijani gas to Europe,” – concluded in the Ministry of Economy of Slovakia.
Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia earlier applied to the European Commission with a request to allocate funds for the development of infrastructure for the supply of Caspian gas to Europe. We are talking about the development of infrastructure, the construction of new and increasing the capacity of existing interconnectors. Romania and Bulgaria are already receiving natural gas from Azerbaijan, Trend notes.
In order for energy diversification not to remain an illusion, the European Commission must follow through on its directives to support the development of the necessary infrastructure in South Eastern Europe. This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary Peter Szijjartospeaking on February 3 in Baku at the 9th ministerial meeting within the framework of the Advisory Council on the Southern Gas Corridor.
As noted EADaily, a number of European countries in recent months have expressed a desire to buy Azerbaijani gas instead of Russian. However, a quick solution to the issue of obtaining an “alternative” blue fuel is not visible for them. There are two reasons for this – the transport infrastructure and the raw material base.