BAKU/JUNE 7 2021 (The Bulletin) — BP has signed a deal to build a 240MW wind farm in Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed region that Azerbaijan captured from Armenia last year, Azerbaijan’s energy ministry said.
BP declined to comment when contacted by The Bulletin but Gary Jones, the BP regional head, was quoted in the Azerbaijani energy ministry’s press release.
“We believe the collaborative work we are commencing on this solar opportunity can lead to a new area of partnership through which BP can make an important contribution to Azerbaijan’s energy transition,” he said.
For Azerbaijan signing a deal with BP to develop an energy project in Nagorno-Karabakh is something of a PR coup. It has rushed to invest in the region since a peace deal was agreed with Armenia in November, ending a six-week war that killed 6,000 people, but, although Turkish companies have signed deals, BP is the first Western company to invest.
And Azerbaijani energy minister Parviz Shahbazov appeared to recognise the importance of the deal.
“I do hope that our active cooperation with BP on the 240MW solar energy project will pave the way for foreign investments in Karabakh,” he was quoted as saying.
BP is a major investor in Azerbaijan. It runs the country’s biggest oil and gas projects including the Shah Deniz project and pipeline infrastructure which pumps gas to Europe.
BP’s deal to invest in Nagorno-Karabakh also comes after a visit to Baku last month by Britain’s export minister, Graham Stuart.
— This story was published in issue 487 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 9 2021
— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021