Font size

Font type


Image visibility


Baku hosts Baku Energy Week, an important event in the region's energy sector

Baku Energy Week, an important event in the region's energy sector, started in Baku on  4 June. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of the 29th International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition - Caspian Oil & Gas and the 12th Caspian International Power and Green Energy Exhibition - Caspian Power as part of the Baku Energy Week at the Baku Expo Center.

The moderator of the event, Stephan Murtagh, ICA Events Group Board Advisor said:

His Excellency Mr. President Aliyev. Dear guests. Ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome to Baku Energy Week. We have been holding this event for 30 years. We are celebrating three decades of innovation, progress and cooperation in the energy sector as we gather in Baku, which is distinguished by its dynamic development.

This meeting not only expresses our past achievements, but also serves as a bridge for future achievements that will shape the industrial sector and the world. If we say how important the Baku Energy Week is for the world community, we will not be considered to exaggerate. This is a manifestation of our continued commitment to developing energy, sustainability and developing an international partnership that guides us towards a brighter, more efficient future.

Thirty years ago, Baku Energy Week began its work as the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and is remembered as the first days of the journey of modern independent Azerbaijan to the energy sector. Apparently, it was initially initiated shortly before the signing of the famous Contract of the Century, which is celebrated its 30th Anniversary this year. Since then, the event has become a major meeting center for energy experts from around the world, further expanding its scope by reflecting a wide range of topics and innovations.

Declaring 2024 the Green World Solidarity Year in Azerbaijan to support the international community in the global fight against climate change was a bold step. This topic will take a wider place on the agenda of the Baku Energy Week.

We were very pleased that Azerbaijan was chosen as the host country of COP29. This is another indicator of the country's progressive policy and growing influence on a global scale, revealing how important it is for us to be at the forefront of climate change solutions as well as sustainability initiatives.

We express our sincere gratitude to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Government of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Energy for their support, as well as SOCAR. Our support for Baku Energy Week will help make this event an important component of Azerbaijan's strategy for a brighter, more efficient future. Thank you and wish you a pleasant time at the event.

And now I give the floor to His Excellency Mr. President. Please, Mr. President.

The head of state addressed the opening ceremony.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, I would like to greet all our guests. Welcome to Azerbaijan. First of all, I would like to express gratitude to the organizers. As it was already mentioned, the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition started 30 years ago in 1994. This event has played an instrumental role in attracting foreign direct investments into the energy sector of Azerbaijan. Since that time, this event has transformed into a bigger event and is now called Baku Energy Week, because it embraces all the major segments of energy policy – oil, gas, upstream, downstream, and of course, green energy.

30 years ago, Azerbaijan, of course, was a different country, making its first steps on the path of independence. It was a time full of difficulties, challenges, and tragic events. Unfortunately, the restoration of our independence in October 1991 was accompanied by aggression from neighboring Armenia and the occupation of almost 20 percent of our territories.

At that time, we had one of the biggest numbers of refugees per capita, one out of eight. It was a really hard time, and we faced actually a humanitarian catastrophe. So, the only way to move forward was to attract investments, but Azerbaijan was considered a very risky place; not only the First Karabakh War and the occupation, but also internal conflicts. The Civil War of 1993 actually brought the country to the verge of collapse.

We can add here economic difficulties, 1000 percent inflation, stagnation of our industry, and a lack of energy resources. We were short of electricity and natural gas. Azerbaijan, a country famous for its energy resources for decades during the times of Tsarist Russia and then the Soviet Union, was a leader in that area not only on a regional but also on a global scale. But independence was marked by a substantial energy crisis.

The year 1993 was a turning point. The election of Heydar Aliyev as a President in October 1993 opened a new page in the history of the country, and not only in its energy segment.  The large-scale economic reforms, the adoption of a new democratic constitution, the abolishment of censorship, and, of course, attempts to attract investors to the most attractive sector of our economy, which was energy.

Coming back to this event, it was actually the first international presentation of the country’s potential. As it was already mentioned, just several months after the first Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition, the “Contract of the Century” was signed on September 20, 1994, which also was a turning point in the transformation of the country. We have managed to establish a very fruitful relationship with our investors. As a result, bp has remained for thirty years and probably will remain for at least additional 30 years as our strategic partner. bp from UK and Amoco from United States led the consortium of international oil companies back in 1994 and trusted us. which also was a turning point in the transformation of the country. We have managed to establish a very fruitful relationship with our investors. As a result, bp has remained for thirty years and probably will remain for at least additional 30 years as our strategic partner. bp from UK and Amoco from United States led the consortium of international oil companies back in 1994 and trusted us.

Because as I said, it was a very risky place. Investors are always very sensitive to political difficulties and geopolitics, but they trusted the government and also the people. As I said, SOCAR and the consortium established a very trustful cooperation at that time.

So, that’s how it started. In just three years’ time, oil was produced from the Chirag Platform, which was a remarkable, record event in the history of oil business. From signing the contract to production, only three years, and then, two pipelines were commissioned, both towards the Black Sea ports. By 1999 both of them were operational. Then, the major oil export pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan, spanning more than 1700 kilometres in a very difficult terrain, with the strong cooperation between regional countries and companies was commissioned.

It was actually a big piece of oxygen for us, for our economy and if you look at how our economy developed, you will see its coordination with our energy policy. Then, Azerbaijan already proved itself as a reliable partner, and more investments came into different areas of our economy, and of course, in the energy sector.

Today, June 4th, will be remembered not only as the day when the Shahdeniz contract was signed 20 years ago at the oil and gas exhibition but also the day when we will soon have the groundbreaking ceremony for three solar and wind renewable power stations, which will be built by our brotherly company Masdar from UAE. This is a demonstration of how Azerbaijan and its international partners transform from fossil fuels to renewables, understanding that fossil fuels will remain important not only for us but also for our partners for many years.

So, Shahdeniz has put an end to the gas shortage in Azerbaijan. Because before that, we had been importing natural gas, now we are exporting, and our exports are growing. This year, it will most probably exceed 24 billion cubic meters. We have eight countries, which are recipients of Azerbaijani gas. Azerbaijan has proven to be a reliable partner in supplying gas to many countries. The European Commission at the regular Advisory Council of the Southern Gas Corridor, which was held several months ago, named Azerbaijan as a Pan-European gas supplier, and this is true. Six out of eight countries, which are recipients of our natural gas are European countries. Of course, the geography of our supply definitely will grow. We are now in the active phase of negotiations with several more countries, which need Azerbaijani gas in order to provide the energy security.

As we've said many times, you cannot separate national security from energy security. The countries which depend on imports, of course, look for the most reliable and long-term partners and contracts. They find exactly that here in Azerbaijan. Our word has the same value as our signature. All the contracts, which have been signed during the last 30 years, have been implemented completely. All of them pass through parliament ratification and are then signed into law.  So not a single word is changed. This is the trust you build for decades. This is a result why we are now experiencing another rapid development in renewables.

What I said about the ceremony, which we will soon witness and participate in, is just the beginning. By the way, Masdar already inaugurated a 230-megawatt solar power station last October, and now one gigawatt.

Now, two more projects are in the pipeline - with one currently under construction, and another one set to start construction soon, bringing the renewable potential of Azerbaijan close to two gigawatts, only from solar and wind. If we add what we are doing with hydropower stations now in Karabakh and East Zangazur, we will see that our target to have two gigawatts of renewables by the end of 2027 is absolutely realistic. This is only the beginning.

By the way, in the liberated areas of Karabakh and East Zangezur, we have a huge hydropower potential. Since the territory was liberated in November 2020, we have already inaugurated hydropower stations with a total capacity of 270 megawatts. Within three to five years, this figure will reach 500 megawatts. So, one gigawatt of renewables will save us roughly half a billion cubic meters of natural gas, which the market needs and will need.

So, today is really a remarkable day. Twenty-eight years after signing the Shahdeniz contract at the oil and gas exhibition, we have already signed it - so it will be the groundbreaking ceremony for one gigawatt capacity. As I said, it's only the beginning, because the potential is huge. Our partners are leading companies on a global scale. Masdar is a champion in green energy and green energy transition.

It was not just a coincidence that Azerbaijan will host the COP29, a year after the UAE did it, and the legacy that UAE left to us is highly valuable. First, I'd like to congratulate my dear friend, Minister Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, and ask him to convey my gratitude and greetings to my brother, the President of UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for his friendship, partnership, and valuable advices in moving on this difficult journey on COP.

It is not easy, but we are ready for that. As I’ve said many times, we are not to blame for having oil and gas. It’s something that God has given us. We must be judged not for having these resources, but for how we manage them, how we transform this wealth through the channels into the society, how we build an inclusive society, and how we manage to reduce poverty from 50% to 5% and reduce foreign debt from almost 100% to 7.7%.

So, these are all the factors by which we must be judged, if I may use that word. By taking on this very responsible duty as the host of COP, we fully realized the advantages and maybe some complications. But we are committed to it.

Climate change here in Azerbaijan can be seen when you look at the Caspian Sea shore. Every year, we see the sea is going away. That's because of climate change, because of irrational human activity. Because the Caspian Sea is supplied by the rivers, which come from beyond our borders. We have zero responsibility for this catastrophe if we don't take serious measures, we will face a major disaster. We are doing everything in order to supply more water to the sea, building new dams and water storages to collect water. But the main vessels, which feed the Caspian Sea, are not in Azerbaijan.

So, climate change is a challenge for every country. We have taken a proactive step. We are now working actively with our partners. We have established a Troika with the UAE and Brazil, the future host of COP30. As a former chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, which consists of 120 countries, we are trying to build bridges between this institution and the European Union. Azerbaijan has signed declarations on strategic partnership with 10 member states of the EU. We are actively working with the Small Island Developing States. We are planning to establish a special fund to support them.

Because for us here in Azerbaijan climate change is a problem, for them it is an existential threat. So, we are trying to demonstrate maximum responsibility and at the same time, to build bridges between different parts of international community. One of the most important results, if we achieve at COP apart from financing, will be putting down mutual accusations and stopping blaming each other for what is happening. We need to join our efforts, put down all these claims, and concentrate on the agenda, which will help us to live on this planet, not only for us but also for our children and grandchildren.

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Azerbaijan. Today is really a historic day. June 4th, as I said, will remain in our history as the day of signing the Shahdeniz, and as the day of the groundbreaking ceremony for green transition. Of course, every time this important gathering produces new ideas, new contacts, new contracts, and this time, Baku Energy Week will also produce great results.

I wish you all the best, and using this opportunity I would like to invite you all to be our guests at COP29 this November. Thank you for your attention.

Then Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Türkiye Alparslan Bayraktar read out President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s letter,

Speaking at the event, Alparslan Bayraktar said:

- Mr. President Aliyev. Ladies and gentlemen. Dear guests.

It is a great honor to speak here in front of you today. This unique event, I think, offers a special opportunity for all of us, strengthens close cooperation and dialogue, and at the same time helps to ensure a more sustainable energy future. At the same time, I sincerely thank the President of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the government of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Energy and SOCAR for organizing such a wonderful event.

Today, as you know, the energy world is developing in a very important direction. At present, the world is undergoing a profound transformation in this area. The direction to this is the changes and development in the field of technology that gave impetus. This is facilitated by taking urgent steps related to climate change. That is why it is becoming more and more difficult to ensure energy supply every day. This is especially the case when there are constant struggles and risks. Climate change, pandemic, supply disruptions and rising prices for commodity goods, increase in expenses - investment expenses, geopolitical risks, regional conflicts – are just a few of the latest conflicts. All this is happening at a time when the global economy needs decarbonization. I think that the only way to achieve this is through fundamental changes, the implementation of policies, and, of course, significant investments.

Today, as in other countries, Türkiye is taking great steps in this area and is trying to strengthen energy security. Our energy plan includes matters related to achieving the Net Zero by 2050 targets. Among them, one of the biggest tasks is to diversify our energy resources and meet the high demand for energy, while at the same time reducing our dependence and moving towards zero goals.

To overcome all this, we focus on six main directions. The first is to benefit from our renewable energy potential. Thus, at present, it accounts for 53 per cent of our total installed capacity. But our goal is to bring it to 60 GW. This also includes small-scale, large-scale and centralized projects.

The second is energy efficiency in our country. We recently announced a second-mile energy efficiency action plan for the 2030s. Our goal here is to attract 20 billion USD in investment to energy efficiency projects. We set ourselves the goal of using natural gas as a transitional fuel. At the same time, we want to add nuclear energy, hydrogen, battery and other types of energy to our energy balance. Finally, our main goal is to develop technology related to clean energy. Here, at the same time, we want to highlight three areas that are interconnected. There is a need to attract investment in these areas. Most importantly, the establishing a powerful energy infrastructure is very important. This is fundamentally important for digitalizing the energy, gas and, at the same time, the competitive energy market.

Achieving energy security is a great goal facing us. No country can get it on its own. Sustainable regional cooperation is necessary for this. As you know, there is a strong potential in the oil, gas and renewable energy fields in the region. By working together and creating synergy, I think we can benefit from these resources more efficiently and make more use of it.

The relations between Türkiye and Azerbaijan are a very vivid example of close cooperation in this regard, which shows how we can achieve great benefits in this way. Our relations are based on historical and strategic ties. The energy sector, of course, is the main pillar of our interaction. Among them, I can mention the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and others. Of course, this is very important for the global oil market. In particular, the Southern Gas Corridor is very important for regional cooperation in this regard. This strategic initiative not only increased Türkiye`s energy security, but also strengthened Europe's energy security and geopolitical ties between our peoples.

The recently signed agreement with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan further strengthened our relations in the field of natural gas. We have signed an agreement on the supply of existing natural gas to the Turkish market and through Türkiye to the European market. This morning we signed a commercial agreement in this regard.

We closely cooperate with the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Our goal here is to increase the possibilities of mutual energy connection between Nakhchivan and Türkiye. With the finalization of these investments, we can provide more new green energy and transport them to the Turkish market.

Before concluding my speech, I would like to note that Türkiye acts as the main mediator of energy projects in the region in this direction. Thus, Türkiye is located in a unique position between East and West. I think that by further promoting regional cooperation and seeing energy security as a priority, we can build a sustainable and dynamic energy landscape that can serve future generations.

In conclusion, Mr. President, I am absolutely sure that Azerbaijan will host the upcoming COP29 conference in a high way and achieve great success in achieving the goal of climate change. I wish you all a wonderful and successful week. Thank you.

Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber addressed the ceremony.

- Assalamu Alaikum. Good morning, I greet everyone. Your Excellency, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

Indeed, it is a great pleasure for us to be in Baku today with such a number of close friends and partners. I think that this is a very important meeting, and taking this opportunity, I speak before you. As I mentioned, we are surrounded here with a large number of close friends and partners.

With your permission, I extend the best wishes and greetings of His Excellency Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates to His Excellency Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. At the same time, I convey his greetings to the people of Azerbaijan. Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank our colleagues from SOCAR. At the same time, I express my gratitude to the organizers of the Baku Energy Week. It's a pretty important week. At the same time, I want to thank you for creating an opportunity to participate in this important event.

This year, of course, is of particular importance for Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is preparing to host COP29. As the current COP president, the United Arab Emirates will continue to work closely with the presidency of COP29. Of course, here we will try to cooperate more closely with our colleagues and chairmen. We take this opportunity to address all countries and stakeholders to support ensuring that COP29 is a body that leaves no doubt. Of course, all this will be provided as a continuation of the results achieved in Dubai.

Your Excellency, colleagues, my dear friends, COP28 has indeed made a great history in the consensus of the United Arab Emirates. Thus, since the signing of the Paris Agreement, it has revealed a detailed set of the most important achievements in the field of climate. Against a very complex and difficult geopolitical background, we proved that multilateralism really maintains its existence, and we encouraged optimism. At the same time, we have proved once again that multilateralism can still be effectively implemented. In fact, I would say that multilateralism is still alive.

We have brought the world together for this purpose. So, we gathered the whole world around its practical ways to keep the temperature rise at a normal level of 1.5 degrees. In parallel, we have ensured sustainability and managed to ensure socio-economic development for everyone. We have proactively involved the industry, especially the oil and gas industry, in order to support these solutions. The oil and gas sector is not just a part of this solution, I would say that it actually plays a leading role in these solutions. To this end, we have set very clear ambitious goals. Our goal is to triple the renewable energy potential by 2030. I would say with great pleasure that, as His Excellency Mr. President noted, the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan will now celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony of three new renewable energy projects. The Bilasuvar and Neftchala solar power plants, together with the Absheron-Garadagh wind project, will produce 1 GW of clean energy to meet Azerbaijan's growing energy needs.

All this is in fact inscribed in the history of partnership of the United Arab Emirates. Thus, the goal here is to strengthen the green development of this country, its growth and promote sustainable development goals globally. We want to note that such practical partnerships once again demonstrate our commitment in this area, and at the same time express our sincere intentions and genuine interest in this area. Our goal is to develop a green growth agenda here.

Colleagues, of course, we must involve every interested party in this process and ensure that they exert maximum energy, activity and effort in this way. I think that this is the basis of the COP presidency, the Troika. Thus, the purpose of bringing COP28, COP29 and COP30 together in a complex way, is to support the ambitious activities of the government in the next round of national commitment contributions. Our goal here is to implement them effectively. Our post-COP29 goal is to serve as a bridge for COP30.

Along with the activities carried out by the governments, we, of course, expect steps from the private sector and the industrial sector. Of course, no one can be excluded here, no one can sit on the sidelines and wait. Taking this opportunity, I want to applaud SOCAR's efforts. I would say that SOCAR is one of the first national companies to join the Charter of Decarbonization of Oil and Gas implemented at COP28. When we look at the Charter of Decarbonization of Oil and Gas today, we see that they currently have a large share. At present, we have ensured that more than 40 percent of the industry is committed to reducing methane emissions to zero by 2030 and to net zero by 2050 and before. I invite those who have not yet signed it to join this initiative. You have the power, resources and technologies to create a massive positive impact in a short period of time.

Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, when taking such bold steps, we must always be pragmatic, realistic and sincere. We must want it deep down inside. This is something that we have in us that we have certainly implemented in COP28. That is why we have achieved such unexpected results. So I tell everyone, holding my face, to continue to be positive, but at the same time, to continue to be pragmatic. We must also admit that the energy transition will take place at different rates in different places. This is actually happening in this way. We must accept this reality. As I mentioned, the energy transition will take place at different rates in different places. Each industry must have its own solutions. Of course, for no one else, we can not apply the same solution here. Therefore, in order to meet the growing energy demand, we need all kinds of energy sources. For example, on this occasion, I would like to focus on the growth of data centers. Thus, the impetus for its expansion is the development of artificial intelligence. As you know, there are currently 1600 data centers available. However, according to real forecasts, by 2030 this figure will reach from 1,600 to 3,000. All this, of course, additionally requires a minimum installed capacity of 150 GW. At the same time, 200 bcm of natural gas are required annually. These are, of course, in addition to renewable energy. The goal is to close this gap that has arisen here regarding energy.

Here we have repeatedly expressed the words to return to pragmatic, real foundations. Here, generations are simply part of the equation. We, of course, understand their reserves well. Of course, it is very important to have a stable infrastructure. Thus, these have a great role to transport the energy produced. Artificial intelligence, as it is known to all of us, is one of the factors that give a huge impetus to energy demand. At the same time, artificial intelligence is another force driving efficiency to reduce emissions. In fact, I would say that the development of artificial intelligence is just one of the megatendences that shape our future.

The dynamic development of artificial intelligence is very important against the background of the rise of emerging markets, not only accelerating the process of energy transition, but also carrying out all this in a responsible and orderly manner. These are, of course, mega-transitions, which we must always keep in mind. The closer the cooperation between artificial intelligence and energy, this means that there will be more solutions. By exploring these solutions, we can deepen decarbonized development everywhere.

Dear colleagues, development at a normal pace can only be provided with access to financial means. Here, of course, I am talking about a significant amount of financial resources. In particular, I want to note this in relation to global sources. In fact, I am proud of the fact that the 100 billion climate funding commitment has finally been met. However, I think that more financial resources are needed to ensure security, create access opportunities and ensure the profitability of all prices. I repeat once again that international financial institutions and multilateral development banks can play a big role in this regard. Thus, they are important in terms of attracting more investment from emerging markets, including, I note once again, they serve as a very powerful mechanism for meeting the investment needs of emerging markets. I think that the private sector should strengthen its efforts in this regard and strive to turn billions into trillions.

COP29, unlike others, will pay special attention to this issue and the United Arab Emirates will continue the process of discovering new innovative solutions. I want to cite”Altira " as an example, a 30 billion USD catalytic climate investment fund was launched within the COP28. This is just one of those solutions and an example of what results innovative solutions lead to. This is a fund designed in a special way and created taking into account the needs. So, more than 200 billion USD investment will be provided over the next 6 years. I think that this fund is an example in itself, and we need to study it more deeply in order to gain access to wider financial opportunities.

Your Excellency, representatives, colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen, at present we are facing unexpected challenges. Despite all this, among these difficulties lies unique economic opportunities. This allows us to redefine our future, to more correctly adjust our work towards the trajectory of resilience. The transition to a sustainable economy is not just about reducing emissions, it means creating new jobs, improving health and improving the quality of life of billions of people around the world. It also means a promise to justice, equality and the world. Thus, every child living here - whether he lives in the North or in the global South-allows them to develop more. It means solidarity and unity. It's not just about accusing. Collectively, we have a great task. We must unite and work together. We must work together to ensure that every child, no matter where he was born, whether he was born in the North or in the global South, has opportunities to develop. Our duty, responsibility is that we can provide and realize them. It is a call to every nation to step up, every industry, every society, community and indeed every individual to strive harder, to serve this goal that transcends boundaries and generations. I think there is no reason not to do this. Therefore, we need to embrace new technologies, foster greater cooperation and stick to our commitment to transformative policymaking so that we can protect the world in which we live and ensure prosperity for everyone. I invite all of you to act for this goal with courage and certainty. It should be remembered that we are united for a common goal, and only in this way we can cope with all these difficulties. We joined COP28, took steps and achieved our goals. On our way to COP29, let us further strengthen our efforts to achieve all these goals and come up with concrete results. I thank all of you and wish you success. Thank you very much.

Then, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Energy Resources of the U.S. Department of State Harry Kamian read out US President Joseph Biden’s letter.

Director of Energy Policy at European Commission Cristina Lobillo Borrero, Secretary General of OPEC.