On Tuesday, Azerbaijan, Romania and Georgia all signed the memorandum of understanding to go ahead with the planned Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania-Interconnection (AGRI) project to transport LNG from Azerbaijan to the EU through Georgia and Romania. The deal has a preliminary cost of €2 - 4 billion and envisions the construction of two LNG terminals. The output is expected to be 7 billion m3/yr, with 2 billion m3/yr expected to got to Romania, allowing the rest to be distributed around the EU.
The first stage of the project will be for a gas pipeline across the Caucasus to the Georgian port of Kalevi, where it will be liquefied and shipped across the Black Sea to a regasification terminal at the Romanian port of Constanta, from there it will be distributed across the EU via the Romanian gas grid.
“From my point of view this is the fastest and one of the most efficient projects to bring Caspian gas to the EU,” said Adriean Videanu, the Romanian Economy Minister.
However, the three nations involved in the tripartite agreement were keen to stress that this project is not in competition with the proposed Nabucco pipeline. “All the natural gas transport projects to Europe are complimentary,” said Adriean Videanu.
Romania is also part of the proposed Nabucco pipeline project, which also involves Austria, Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria and Germany. However the Nabucco project has been held up by disputes between Turkey and Azerbaijan over gas prices and transit fees, which means that the AGRI project may be finalised first.
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