Gas Export to Georgia Likely

Gas Export to Georgia LikelyGas Export to Georgia Likely

Iran is likely to export 200 million cubic meters of natural gas to Georgia in a seven-month period, the managing director of National Iranian Gas Export Company said on Wednesday.

After holding talks with Georgian Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze, Alireza Kameli said, "The gas deal will be a win-win agreement and we hope that the final contract is concluded as soon as possible," IRNA reported.

According to Kameli, Georgia's private and state sectors have shown interest in purchasing gas from Iran.

"Serious negotiations are underway with both sectors and in case they yield positive results, gas export will commence as of the beginning of the new Iranian year (starting March 20, 2016)," he said.

Noting that the long-term economic viability of gas export to the Caucasian state will be scrutinized during this period, Kameli said if the pilot plan proves to be financially beneficial for both sides, mid- and long-term contracts will be high on the economic agenda.

"To transfer gas from Iran to its territory, Georgia should obtain licenses from Armenia because basically this is Armenia which is to receive Iranian gas at its border with Iran and deliver it to its neighboring Georgia," he said.

Pointing to plans discussed by Tehran and Tbilisi to embark on petrochemical joint ventures, Kakha Kaladze said  Iran will provide the much-needed feedstock and both Georgian and Iranian enterprises will contribute to the petrochemical projects.

"Plans have been made to export the manufactured petrochemical commodities to the European Union member states, which can definitely be a great incentive for Iranian private sector to invest in the project," he said.

"There are two routes to transfer Iran's natural gas to Georgia," he said, noting that the first plausible path would be through Azerbaijan and the second alternative route is through Armenia.

According to the Georgian energy minister, the details of the gas export route as well as price and volume will be discussed in future technical meetings.

Kaladze is optimistic about the future prospects of cooperation between the two states and describes it as very promising.

If the plan becomes a reality, Georgia would be the last Caucasian state, after Armenia and Azerbaijan, to import gas from Iran.

  Energy Cooperation With Georgia

In a meeting between Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and the Georgian energy minister, the two sides discussed energy project, including power plant construction in Georgia as well as the expansion and renovation of the Caucasian country's electricity network and connecting it to that of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Stressing that electricity export to Europe through Georgia is on the Energy Ministry's list of priorities, Chitchian noted that no serious talks have been held in this regard yet, as synchronizing the electricity networks of the three countries is a matter of great urgency and will be followed in March 2016 in Tbilisi.

Regarding Georgia's hydroelectric development projects, the minister believes Iranian companies can play a key role in implementing the plans.

Pointing to the 300-megawatt transmission line between Iran and Georgia, Chitchian said plans have been made to increase the capacity by 1,200 MW as soon as the new transmission line becomes operational.