Baku, Oct 16, IRNA-Head of 'Azeri Gas' company said here Saturday that Iran will start shipment of natural gas to 'Nakhichevan autonomous Republic' next month.
Ali Khan Melikov added that Iran plans to export 350 million cubic meters of natural gas annually to Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.
He added that the pipelines are ready to receive shipment of Iranian gas and the necessary construction work in neighboring state is almost complete.
The Tehran, Baku agreement calls for exchange of natural gas between the two nations. The 'Haji Ghabol-Astara' pipeline is under construction and will carry gas to Iran, he added.
The volume of gas from Ian to Nakhichevan is slated to be 52 million, 250 million and 350 million cube meters of gas, respectively, he underlined.
Nakhichevan needs 250 million cubic meters of natural gas per year, said Melikov adding that the country requires 100 million cubic meters more to supply its power plant.
He said a 42-km-long gas pipeline will become operational between Jolfa and Nakhichevan to put the project into practice.
The two sides reached the agreement during Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami's visit to the autonomous republic.
According to the terms of the agreement, Iran will supply Azerbaijan with a certain amount of natural gas through Astara a month in advance and the following month Iran will supply a similar amount to Nakhichevan.
Melikov said that to supply gas to Nakhichevan it is necessary to carry out a range of preparation work to receive the gas, both in the autonomous republic and in Astara.
The Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, an Azerbaijani territory, is situated to the south, separated from the remainder of Azerbaijan by Armenian territory.
Azerbaijan ambassador to Iran said that Tehran-Baku trade exchange has increased sixfold since 1998 reaching close to dlrs 600 million annually.
Abassali Karam Oghlou Hassanov told IRNA in June that he expects the bilateral trade volume to increase to dlrs one billion annually in the near future.
He also said that various development and electricity projects underway by the Iranian experts will strengthen overall relations between the two nations.
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