Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Levan Davitashvili, announced at a briefing on 21 November that the government is working on a project to supply gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe through Georgia.
Per Minister Davitashvili, the project – in which Azerbaijan, Romania, and Hungary are also taking part – started in 2015 and envisages a plan in which “the gas will be transformed into a liquid state on the territory of Georgia, and then gasified in Romania.”
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“Unfortunately, this project was stopped and had no further development,” he said, and emphasized that “due to the current processes when Europe is particularly interested in alternative sources of gas supply, when everyone is talking about diversifying the energy supply, this project acquired special relevance this year.”
The Minister also explained that the government, together with its partners, started “working on important energy and energy transit projects.” In this context, he recalled Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Georgia and noted that the project was one of the main topics of discussion during that trip.
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The Minister of Economy also explained that “a working meeting is still taking place in our Ministry” regarding the project, adding that “Oil and Gas Corporation is involved in the project from the Georgian side, SOCAR from the Azerbaijani side, as well as our partners in Romania and Hungary.”
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Minister Davitashvili also noted that an assessment of the project and the existing infrastructure on Georgian and Azerbaijani territory is in the works. He underlined that the budget will be drafted according to the conditions of the existing infrastructure, and the details of the project.
“It won’t happen in one day, and it won’t happen in a year,” he said, adding, “First of all, we need a complete picture […] then [to] form a detailed action plan […] and start the step by step implementation of this plan, including attracting investments in this direction.”
Significantly, during his recent visit to Georgia, the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi discussed potential infrastructure projects during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on 15 November. The Commissioner noted then that he had received information about Georgian plans for building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, which he said would create additional capacities for supplying gas to Europe.
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