Ukraine has direct interest in implementing infrastructure projects in the Caspian Sea region which exclude Russia as an influential player
Ukraine must join the Southern Gas Corridor project to receive access to the advantages this route can provide to the European Union, a DiXi Group study “Southern Gas Corridor: prospects for Ukraine” says.
In the opinion of experts, considering that the Southern Gas Corridor is basically a project of diversifying gas deliveries to the EU and reducing the Russian influence, Ukraine must become a political and infrastructural part of it. To that end, Gas TSO Ukraine must take, jointly with operators – members of the CESEC working group concerned and with the support from the Energy Community Secretariat, actions under the “joint interest” project aimed to develop reverse gas flows via the Trans-Balkan Pipeline.
“Ukraine has direct interest in implementing infrastructure projects in the Caspian Sea region which exclude Russia as an influential player. It is extremely important to enable physical deliveries to Ukraine from the southern direction in the conditions when the transit coming from the eastern border is minimized,” the study says.
Analysts say that Ukraine’s strategic interest in the context of the Southern Gas Corridor is to tap into the advantages this route can provide to the EU and to prevent, by working together with the EU, the United States, Turkey and Azerbaijan, the increasing influence of Russia in the “southern” direction.
“By further integrating into the EU market and using the Trans-Balkan Pipeline, Ukraine can ensure gas deliveries from the south and utilization of its gas transmission system,” the study continues.
The Southern Gas Corridor project includes expansion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, construction of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline in Turkey and of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
TAP is connected to Italy’s gas transmission system, which is directly integrated into the European market. In particular, natural gas may be transmitted from TAP to the Central European Gas Hub (CEGH) in Baumgarten (Austria) via the Trans Austria Gas (TAG) pipeline using swaps and reverse flows, to Germany and France via Switzerland (reverse flow via the Transitgas pipeline), to Bulgaria via Kulata/ Sidirokastro interconnector on the border with Greece and/or via the planned IGB interconnector, and to the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe via the planned Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP). As a result, Ukraine will also have access to gas resources delivered via TAP, and therefore, to the Southern Gas Corridor via the Trans-Balkan Pipeline and thanks to an inter-operator agreement with Romanian operator TRANSGAZ.