Bucharest to host next meeting of AGRI project participants

Meeting of Economy and Energy Ministers of the countries participating in AGRI project - Azerbaijan, Romania, Hungary and the next meeting of the Managing Board of AGRI LNG Co., a company set up for the project implementation, will be held May 26-27 in Bucharest, SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) said in a statement.

The meeting will hear the presentations by companies and organizations interested in the AGRI project. Also, agreeing the AGRI LNG Co.'s agenda and budget for 2011-2012 will be discussed at the meeting.

Azerbaijan will be represented by the Minister of Industry and Energy Natig Aliyev and Deputy Vice President of SOCAR, a member of AGRI LNG Co. Managing Board Vitaly Baylarbayov.

Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary signed a protocol within the implementation of the AGRI project on Feb.14 in Baku. The signed document stressed the need to support the companies participating in the project in attracting the necessary funding for the feasibility study. The paper notes that under the increased work means finding the shortest route of delivery of Azerbaijani gas to European markets, the creation of Interconnector Romania - Hungary (Arad-Szeged).

Earlier, the joint venture was registered in Romania within the AGRI project. The joint company will prepare a feasibility study of the new project and seek funding. Participants of the project are Azerbaijani SOCAR, Oil and Gas Corporation of Georgia, the Romanian ROMGAZ and Hungarian MVM. Each has a 25 percent shareholding. In the future, Bulgaria also can join the project.

The AGRI project envisages transporting Azerbaijani gas via pipelines to the Black Sea coast of Georgia, where the gas will be liquefied at a special terminal. The gas will then be delivered to a terminal at the Romanian port of Constanta via tankers. Later, the liquefied gas will be brought into the state of natural gas and will be directed towards covering the needs of Romania and other European countries.

It is expected that Turkmenistan, participating in the project as a supplier, could supply liquefied natural gas across the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan for further transit to Europe.