Trend Capital's interview with Georgian Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri prior to Batumi energy summit, which will be held on January 14.
Q: What issues will be discussed at the upcoming energy summit in Batumi?
A: This summit is dedicated to the development of the South Energy Corridor, which aims to discuss Caspian energy supplies to Western Europe. A declaration on the principles of energy supplies to Western Europe will be considered and adopted at the presidential level. In particular, the summit will discuss the work of Sarmatia JV for the Odessa-Brody-Gdansk oil pipeline. During the event, a declaration will be adopted on the Odessa-Brody-Gdansk project.
Q: Will the realization of the Nabucco gas pipeline project, supported by the EU, be discussed?
A: Of course, some talks on this topic will be held amongst the participants of the meeting. Agreement on this project has already been adopted, and now its details are discussed, which is not the topic of such level meeting. This is a technical issue.
Q: SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) actively participates in the Georgian market. How do you assess the activities of this company?
A: SOCAR has been working in Georgia for long, and we welcome the activities of our partners. We welcome the appearance of such a serious brand in Georgia. We are pleased that the activities of this company firstly provide consumers with cheap and quality service, which is particularly reflected in the work of SOCAR petrol stations. The company is constantly expanding its network of petrol stations, which will positively impact not only on solving problems with the fuel, but also creates new jobs, solve social problems.
Q: SOCAR is actively involved in the market of gas supply to Georgia's regions. Are you satisfied with the rate of gasification of regions?
A: We are very satisfied with the activity of Azerbaijani company in this direction, since the rate of gasification of our regions is surprising. In the end of last year, almost every week the company opened two distribution stations in various regions of the country. SOCAR is an active participant of the presidential program "Gas to every village" and the company intends to further intensify its activities in this direction.
Q: SOCAR is actively developing its Black Sea Kulevi oil terminal. The company intends to launch a terminal here for the gas compression for further export to Europe. What prospects do you see in this direction?
A: This terminal is owned by SOCAR and it can open here everything it wants, whether it is oil refinery or gas processing plant. We can only welcome the expansion of the scope of company's activities in Georgia, but again I stress - this is decided by the company itself.
Terminal in Kulevi
SOCAR's oil terminal in Kulevi started its activity in summer 2008. Total capacity of the reserve park is 320,000 cubic meters with the possibility of increasing up to 380,000 cubic meters. For oil operations, the terminal has two moorings for loading petroleum products in tankers with capacity of up to 100,000 tons. The terminal can accommodate up to 168 tank-cars.
Nabucco gas pipeline project is worth €7.9 billion. Participants of the project are Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE companies. Each of participants has equal share to the amount of 16.67 percent. Construction of gas pipeline is planned to be launched in 2011, the first supplies - in 2014. Maximal capacity of the pipeline will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year. Nabucco Gas Pipeline International shareholders will invest 30 percent of total cost of the project, the rest 70 percent will be paid owing to loans.
The Odessa-Brody oil project was planned to diversify oil supplies to Ukrainian refineries and transit facilities for the development of the country. Construction of the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline was completed in May 2002. The pipeline has a length of 674 km, diameter - 1,020 millimeters. The pipeline and the terminal's capacity are 9-14 million tons per year. The work within the project is carried out by the Sarmatia international oil pipeline company was founded in 2004. Now company's participants are SOCAR (the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic), Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation, Lithuanian company Klaipedos oil ", Polish oil company PERN Pshiyazn and Ukrtransnafta JSC.