the necessary LNG project within the Southern Corridor
According to forecasts, at the EU level will be a growing dependence on imported natural gas from 57% currently to 84% in 2030. Therefore, the long-term energy policy of the European Union must take into account the need for significant investment in energy infrastructure, that will contribute to security of gas supply to Europe.
The Southern Corridor, conceived as a direct link between Europe and the largest gas deposit in the world, plays a central role in achieving the goals of the European strategy to ensure the competitiveness, sustainability and security of its gas supplies. Nevertheless, important challenges remain with respect to guaranteeing that all elements of the Corridor (gas resources, infrastructure for transport and underlying agreements) are available both at the right time and with significant scope. These require close co-operation between various Member States and at European level, as well as building and consolidating long-term relationships with gas producing and transit countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Aware of the importance of this major undertaking, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary and Romania have joined forces in an attempt to provide an articulate and flexible regional contribution to the Southern Corridor.
AGRI is perfectly aligned with the objective of diversification of both sources and transit routes, being therefore complementary to Nabucco within the Southern Corridor.
AGRI brings together: the key role of Azerbaijan as a major hydrocarbons producer in the Caspian region; Georgia’s importance as an energy transit country; Romania’s potential to ensure a direct access towards Europe, as a bridge over the Black Sea and the added value of Hungary, for the western dimension development of the project.
AGRI main strengths of the project are: the existence at this moment of a large part of the necessary infrastructure, especially the interconnector Romania - Hungary ( Arad-Szeged), the flexibility offered by the LNG technology, direct access of Azeri gas to the European market and last but not least, the political support expressed by all four partner countries.
On September 14, 2010, the Romanian, Azerbaijani and Georgian presidents and the prime minister of Hungary signed the Baku Declaration on the implementation of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector (AGRI) energy project. AGRI was imagined as an integral part of the Southern Corridor, ensuring the shortest direct route of the Caspian gas towards the European market. Indeed, AGRI is expected to transport liquefied Azeri gas from Georgia, across the Black Sea, to the LNG terminal in the Romanian port of Constanta. From that point, the gas will be pumped through Romania’s pipeline system to Hungary and on to the rest of the European market.
As a natural next step in the AGRI development, a Bucharest-based joint venture - AGRI LNG Project Company- has been set up in February 2011, with the task of carrying out the feasibility study for the project, by the second quarter of 2012.
On March, 2011, the Board of Directors of AGRI LNG PROJECT COMPANY has approved the extension of the shareholders with the Hungarian company MVM.
A number of countries and companies, of which we can mention Ukraine, Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy, Japan and Serbia have expressed the interest to collaborate in the AGRI project.
On December 5th 2011 an international tendering process was started by publishing the “Request for proposals for Consultancy Services relating to a Feasibility Study for AGRI Project”. Twelve companies/consortium participate with their offer and the process was finalized in April 2012 by choosing Penspen Limited (UK registered company) as the winner Tenderer.
On June 28th 2012 the contract for consulting services was signed.
Board of Directors of AGRI LNG Project Company SRL discussed, on 3-4 December 2014 in Bucharest, Romania, the results of the report on AGRI feasibility study provided by Penspen.
The Board of Directors suggested to organize the General Assembly of Shareholders of AGRI LNG Company in January-February 2015.