Baku, Apr 29 (EFE).- Azerbaijan President Ilham Alíev said Friday his country could double its gas supplies to Italy even as it would mean increasing the carrying capacity of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which transports 10 billion cubic meters annually.
“The capacity of the TAP can be increased up to 20,000 million cubic meters (yearly) with the installation of additional compressor stations,” the president said, speaking at an international conference themed – “South Caucasus: Development and Cooperation.”
In his speech, broadcast live on social networks, Alíev said it required that the TAP shareholders adopt a new investment plan.
“You have to understand that this is a decision that cannot be made in the course of a month,” he said.
The Azerbaijani president indicated that the proposed capacity increase would allow double the natural gas supplies to Italy.
He said he had already discussed it with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Foreign Minister Luigi di Maggio.
He said Azerbaijan was not offering itself as a competitor to Russia in the European gas market, admitting that “the volumes of (Russian) supplies are incomparable.”
Aliev stressed that Baku only wanted access to a stable and regulated market like the European one.
“We sell gas to various consumers, but it is precisely Europe that pays the best price,” he said.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked a barrage of economic sanctions against Moscow.
Russia has been demanding payment in rubles from its European gas buyers.
Bulgaria and Poland refused to meet the demand, prompting Gazprom, the Russian gas giant, to cut supplies to the countries this week.
This year, Azerbaijan plans to supply about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas through the TAP, a southern gas corridor from the Caspian Sea shore to Italy.
The 876-km gas pipeline with a 1,129 millimeters diameter passes through Greece and Albania, traveling over Albanian mountains and under the Adriatic sea before coming onshore in Italy. EFE