Ομιλία του Πρωθυπουργού κ. Αντώνη Σαμαρά στο Μπακού του Αζερμπαϊτζάν, στην εκδήλωση για την επέτειο των 20 χρόνων από την υπογραφή του «συμβολαίου του αιώνα» για το κοίτασμα Σαχ Ντενίζ και την έναρξη των εργασιών του Νοτίου Διαδρόμου μεταφοράς φυσικού αερίου στην Ευρώπη

ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΥ

Σάββατο, 20 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Dear President Aliyev, dear Heads of State and Government, esteemed guests,

 

It is a great pleasure and indeed it is a great honor for me to be here today, at this Groundbreaking ceremony. Truly a historical event!

 

The “Southern Corridor” is more than an energy infrastructure project; it is a vision-becoming-reality, today.

 

It is a vision connecting Europe with Asia; through energy supply and through energy security.

 

It is a vision of long term cooperation among the countries and the people of such an extended region; indeed a model of global cooperation based on competitive prices which generate growth and promote environmental sustainability.

 

Greece has been, from the very beginning, one of the steadfast supporters of the “Southern Corridor”; more so since Greece is one of the countries from which the Corridor is passing through.

 

The TAP, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, as an integral part of the Southern Corridor, will enter Greece from its borders with Turkey and cross 543 km along its territory in Thrace and Macedonia before entering Albania.

 

For many months now, despite the difficult times in my country, the Greek state is doing its outmost to speed up procedures and facilitate the smooth realization of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline.

 

Just a few days ago, we signed the Environmental Impact Assessment, which is another important step towards the commencement of the actual construction phase.

 

This is a top priority for my Government and I follow it personally, together with Minister Maniatis who is also present here today.

 

It is clear that the “Southern Corridor” is an open-ended project. Indeed, the prospect of connecting TAP with other pipelines that would cross South East Europe seems to have many benefits.

 

There are certainly many factors to be considered before the finalization of these ideas; to be sure, the “Southern Corridor” has opened up a door for an array of possibilities: Among them, moving forward with the “Vertical Corridor” utilizing the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector (the IGB), as you heard from the Bulgarian President and friend, as well as upgrading existing interconnectors and building new ones further north to Central Europe.

 

In the years to come, the TAP (and additional LNG supplies through Greece) will definitely cover the needs of the Vertical Corridor.

 

By participating in such projects, Greece improves its positioning and enhances its role in the international energy scene, becoming a “hub” for South-East Europe, as well as – I can also add – continental Europe!

 

Of course, our policy for energy diversity is not limited to TAP. Let me seize this opportunity to remind you that my country is in the process of upgrading its LNG terminal in Revithoussa, by increasing its storage capacity by 73%, to reach 225.000 cubic meters, also upgrading gasification speed by 40%, as well as by improving its ports’ infrastructure.

 

A second LNG terminal in northern Greece is also in the pipeline for the coming years.

 

Finally, let me remind you that the 2nd International round of Concessions, consisting of 20 blocks in the Ionian and Cretan Seas is under way. And we have recently concluded the contracts for the concession of 3 more blocks.

 

I would like to finish by pointing out that there is probably no better and perhaps more symbolic example of synergies between states and the private sector, than the Energy Interconnectors that transcend borders, seas and lands, fueling development and economic prosperity.

 

I am confident that the “Southern Corridor” will be a prominent and successful example of such a co-operation.

 

Some decades ago, energy supply used to be a source of friction among nations. Today projects such as the “Southern Corridor”, providing energy supply and energy safety, are becoming a factor of long term stability, piece and global cooperation.

 

We are not just constructing gas pipelines.

 

We are building bridges that connect and bring together countries and people across large regions.

 

And this is, indeed, a global vision that is becoming a reality. Again Mr. President thank you very much for allowing me to be here today.

 

Thank you