The International Energy Charter (IEC) and the Government of Turkmenistan in its capacity as the Chair of the Energy Charter Conference in 2017 jointly organized the 28th Energy Charter Conference (ECC) on 28-29 November 2017 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. ECC is the governing and decision-making body of the Energy Charter Process, having the IGO status, which bring together both the new and the existing member countries of the Energy Charter and provides opportunity for mobilizing support towards the full implementation of the principles of the Energy Charter.
The 28th Conference was divided into two sessions: Statutory and Ministerial. The theme of the Ministerial Session was “Mobilizing investment for sustainable energy future and diversified transportation routes”, which was open to all observers, international organizations, and the private sector. The Meeting deliberated on the overall global energy issues, including two panel sessions on “Modernization of the Energy Charter Treaty” and “Diversifying energy resources and transit routes in the international energy markets”. The meeting approved the concluding document of the 28th Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference.
ECO and ECC has recently been granted the reciprocal Observer Status on the basis of which they maintain strong relationship sought to enhance synergies; offer policy advice and international consultancy, as well as immense opportunities in capacity building; and facilitate exchange of experiences between ECO and IEC. ECO Secretariat’s delegation headed by Mr. Fuad Farzalibeyov, Director of Energy, Minerals and Environment, participated in the Ministerial Session as observer and made its contribution in the panel on “Diversifying energy resources and transit routes in the international energy markets”. During his intervention, Mr. Fuad Farzalibeyov highlighted the priority role of energy cooperation within ECO and called for unfolding the huge collaboration potential through enhancement of synergy and coherence among key ECO energy stakeholders.
He underscored that diversification of energy supply routes and sources play a fundamental role in the ECO Region given its unique geostrategic location, as well as the land-locked status of the majority of the ECO Member States. Intra- and inter-regional connectivity is enhancing through implementation of some regional projects with global importance. This is where ECO Member States have found critical mass of common interests, whereas the rich energy resources of the ECO Region, notably hydrocarbons of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Basin significantly contributes to diversification of global energy supply routes and sources. He further briefed the audience on the initiative of establishment of ECO Regional Electricity Market (ECO-REM) and track of cooperation between ECO and ECC.
On the margins of the 28th Conference, ECO delegation held several bilateral meetings. On 29 November 2017, ECO delegation met with Mr. Cheng Zhiqiang, Deputy Secretary General of Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO). Mr. Zhiqiang briefed his counterpart on GEIDCO's activities. He noted that the GEIDCO – as a non-profit international organization among government agencies, international organizations, businesses, research institutions and individuals – aims at promoting the establishment of a Global Energy Interconnection system, smart grids, Ultra High Voltage Grid, to meet the global demand for electricity in a clean and green way, to implement the United Nations “Sustainable Energy for All” and climate change initiatives, and to serve the sustainable development of humanity. He further invited ECO to participate in the GEIDCO's activities/events and proposed to establish institutional linkages between ECO and GIEDCO through the signing of Memorandum of Understanding.
Mr. Fuad Farzalibeyov in return briefed his counterpart on ECO’s energy profile, particularly the ongoing initiatives on establishment of ECO Regional Electricity Market (ECO-REM) and ECO Clean Energy Center (CECECO), and expressed appreciation to GEIDCO for its interest in building up cooperation between two Organizations. Both sides considered possible elaboration on cooperation mechanisms in terms of building collaborative institutional linkages; exchange of experience; capacity building activities, as well as mutual participation in events.
On the sidelines of the 28th Conference, ECO delegation also met with Mr. Marat Terterov, Principal Coordinator of the International Energy Charter (IEC) Secretariat. Both sides updated on ECO-IEC cooperation, including the Energy Charter’s possible support to ongoing ECO initiative on establishment of ECO-REM, which constitutes a promising area for ECO-IEC cooperation. They agreed to continue interactions towards advancement of ECO-REM initiative.
On the sidelines of the event ECO delegation also had the opportunity to have consultation with Mr. Öztürk Selvitop, Deputy General Director of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Republic of Turkey on the 4th ECO Ministerial Meeting on Energy/Petroleum, 3rd Iran-Turkey Bilateral Meeting on establishment of ECO Regional Electricity Market, expected to be held in Turkey and feedbacks on Terms of Reference (ToR) on hiring international and local consultants for preparation of a Feasibility Study on establishment of ECO Regional Electricity Market. ECO delegation also met Mr. Bayaornibe Dabire, Director of Energy of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and exchanged views and experiences on the developments in respect with the establishment of clean energy corridors and centers within their Organizations.