On Saturday, the presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, and Hungary inked a deal to build a cable beneath the Black Sea to transport green Azeri energy from proposed Caspian Sea windfarms to Europe.
Azerbaijan and Romania will be connected by a 1,100 km (685 miles), 1,000 MW cable as part of a broader European Union attempt to diversify energy supplies away from Russia in the midst of the Ukraine War.
The European Commission has set up 2.3 billion euros ($2.4 billion) to finance the development of the cable, which will be the longest of its kind in the world, and Azerbaijan is asking partners to build the turbines, according to the Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.
He stated that the cable project’s feasibility study would be finished by the end of 2023, after which construction would take three to four years. At the same summit, Azerbaijan also announced plans to modestly expand its natural gas exports to Europe in order to supplement the continent’s declining Russian energy supply.
“Given the current security context highlighted by the military aggression against Ukraine, we need to collaborate better and show greater unity to alleviate mutual concerns,” said Romanian President Klaus Iohannis addressing the gathering.
At the conference, which was also attended by Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, Iohannis stated that “our energy cooperation… will increase our energy resilience and ensure diversity of supply and transit routes.”
According to Von der Leyen, the EU’s plan to diversify away from Russian fossil resources and toward what she called “reliable energy partners” is effective. According to her, the EU was prepared to fund the project financially awaiting the findings of the feasibility study.
“We definitely need improved power linkages if we want to include a rising portion of renewable energy. The Black Sea energy cable linking Romania, Georgia, and Azerbaijan is crucial for this reason, according to von der Leyen. According to Von der Leyen, the Black Sea cable has the potential to make Georgia an energy center and connect it into the EU’s internal power market. It may also assist Ukraine to begin to restore its energy infrastructure and support that nation’s rehabilitation.