Socar Expands Control of Georgian Gas Grid
Azerbaijan's state-run Socar has acquired a further 155 km of Georgia's gas grid for $2.2mn, its spokesman Ibrahim Ahmadov told NGW on February 15.
The pipelines are located in the the towns of Dedoplistskaro, Chokhatauri, Khashuri, Martvili and Zugdidi, he said. Payment will be made in instalments starting in 2027 and continuing for 10 years.
Socar's local subsidiary Socar Georgia Gas sold 2.113bn m3 of retail gas in Georgia in 2019, 15.8% more than in the previous year, according to Ahmadov. Overall gas demand in the country increased 2.5% last year to 2.618bn m3, according to the country’s energy ministry.
Socar Georgia already controls more than 6,000 km of the Georgian gas network, having bought 594 km of pipeline in 2018 and 708 km in 2019, for $7.4mn and $8.4mn respectively. The Azeri firm has invested $1.5bn in the grid since it first began acquiring pipelines in 2008.
Georgia expects to cut Azeri gas imports by around 2.5% to 2.385bn m3 in 2020, while expanding supplies from Russia by 18% to around 170mn m3, its economic development ministry announced on December 26.