President Aliyev: Azerbaijan has become one of leading countries in world in energy field

Azerbaijan has become one of the leading countries in the world in the energy field, President Ilham Aliyev said while receiving Vugar Ahmadov on the occasion of his appointment as chairman of the Azerishig Open Joint Stock Company.

Energy supply is a strategic sector for any country, the Azerbaijani president noted.

“In recent years, a lot has been done in this area in our country,” Ilham Aliyev said. “The creation of generation capacities was envisaged under the first state program on the socioeconomic development of the regions adopted in 2004. We have already fully achieved this. Today we have an additional energy capacity of about 1,000 megawatts, which make up a reserve and also expand our export potential. Last year, our country received about $60 million from electricity exports.”

“This work is underpinned by the creation of generating capacities,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “Over the past 15 years, we have created about 3,000 megawatts of new generating capacity and built numerous power plants. Thus, Azerbaijan has become one of the leading countries in the world in this field. At the same time, much attention was paid to the reconstruction and laying of distribution lines. Of course, the distribution network must meet modern standards, which is one of the key issues on our agenda.”

“There was a time when power supply of our country was in the hands of private companies, and this practice did not justify itself,” Ilham Aliyev added. “On the contrary, it created great problems for us. Some people have forgotten that TV channels used to be turned off at night due to a lack of electricity. Electricity supply of Baku was in a deplorable state. “Barmek”, which monopolized energy supply in Baku, completely disabled the energy economy. Many have forgotten that period. I remember it well. It was on my decision and instruction that the unsatisfactory work of foreign businessmen was thoroughly analyzed.”

“The energy supply of Baku was returned to the state and Azerishig was established,” said the Azerbaijani president. “It was me who named this Joint-Stock Company Azerishig. Since that time, the state has allocated large funds for this area and managed to create a serious turnaround. Energy sustainability is fully ensured in Azerbaijan today.”

“But despite all these positive aspects, there have been major flaws and miscalculations,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “Otherwise, we would not have experienced the breakdown in 2018. The analysis carried out after the breakdown showed that it had happened solely as a result of negligence and irresponsibility. It was informed in detail with pictures and evidence about the terrible state of our Mingachevir thermal power plant. These pictures are horrifying. Incredible negligence and incredible irresponsibility! Therefore, the leadership of AzerEnerji was replaced in full.”

“Five blocks of the Mingachevir Thermal Power Plant were overhauled,” the Azerbaijani president added. “It is safe to say that they were reconstructed. The lost capacity was restored. We recovered approximately 400 megawatts of the lost capacity. In other words, our existing power plants lost these capacities precisely because of irresponsibility and unprofessional work.”

“As a result of repairs, we restored 400 megawatts of power without building new stations,” Ilham Aliyev said. “On the remaining three blocks of the Mingachevir Thermal Power Plant, reconstruction will be carried out in 2020 and additional generating capacities will be obtained.

In parallel with this, the Shimal-2 power station with a capacity of 400 megawatts was commissioned in 2019. This factor also significantly strengthens our energy potential. At the same time, we are now seriously developing renewable energy.”

“A 50-megawatt wind farm is already operational. Today, private foreign companies show great interest in this area, want to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in this sector, and we appreciate that,” the Azerbaijani president added.

“Thus, in order to meet our growing needs in the coming years, it is necessary to create new stations and inspect existing plants that provide electricity, build new substations and repair existing ones,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “We are doing and will continue to do all this work in a consistent manner. Azerishig should also be guided by the most modern principles in its work. All our energy facilities must meet high standards. It is necessary to ensure the sustainability of electricity – from generation to the last point – people’s apartments.”

“As part of numerous trips to the regions, I have taken part in the opening of a number of power plants and substations,” the Azerbaijani president said. “I am always interested in how things are going with electricity in the districts. In recent years, a very large turnaround has been observed in this area, and this process will be continued. There is still an energy infrastructure in need of repair. We will consistently resolve these issues so that there are no problems in this area.”

“The growing population and industrial potential of our country dictates the need for this area always to be in the spotlight,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “Therefore, when I started working as president, a lot of attention among infrastructure projects was primarily given to this particular sector. On my instruction and under my control, several power plants were built in the regions. We have built the “Khachmaz”, “Shahdag”, “Astara”, “Sheki” and “Baku” stations in order to have and increase generating capacities in each region.”

“The “Janub” power plant with a generating capacity of about 800 megawatts was built in the city of Shirvan,” said the Azerbaijani president. “The “Shimal-1” and “Shimal-2” power plants were commissioned. All this requires a lot of work and foresight. At one time, we depended on imports, but now we provide ourselves with electricity and even export it. Export is possible only if domestic needs are fully met. We have been able to achieve this.”

“It is no coincidence that the Davos World Economic Forum praised the work done in this area,” Ilham Aliyev added. “In terms of the access to electricity, the Davos Forum has awarded Azerbaijan the first place in the CIS, while on the global scale we are in second place. By this indicator, we have overtaken the most developed countries of the world. The main goal of the production and distribution of electricity is to deliver it to enterprises and people. This is what accessibility means.”

“So energy is available to people and enterprises, and by this indicator we are in second place in the world,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “This is the result of our work. But we cannot be complacent with the successes achieved. Both AzerEnerji and Azerishig have major tasks. I am sure that these tasks will be fulfilled in a consistent manner and thus the provision of electricity will always be at a high level.”