Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.23
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The construction work under the Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) could start in two or three years, Montenegro’s Minister of Economy Dragica Sekulic told reporters in Baku.
She pointed out that a great development has been seen in the implementation of IAP in the last two years.
The development of IAP is very advanced in Croatia, where it is already a mature project, said the minister, adding that in Montenegro and Albania, the preparatory phase is still underway.
“We are finishing planning and designing. We hope that in two or three years, we will be ready to start the construction work,” added Sekulic. “This is one of the highest priority energy projects for that part of Europe. We will do our best to have as fastest development as we can.”
The minister said that as Montenegro doesn’t have natural gas, IAP is the only way for the country to get gas, therefore, this project is important for the country.
“On one hand, it is bringing Azerbaijani gas to Europe and from the other hand, it is bringing the European gas back,” she added.
Sekulic said that the main importance of the pipeline is to make better the security of supply and to have diversification of sources for all participants of the project.
Further, the minister noted that Azerbaijan is a great friend of Montenegro.
“People in Montenegro realize that with various projects. Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR is assisting us, helping us, supporting from very beginning of projects. This cooperation can only be better than it is now,” she added.
IAP is a proposed natural gas pipeline in Southeastern Europe (SEE) that will stretch from Albania through Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Split in Croatia. It will be connected with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
IAP will provide deliveries of Azerbaijani gas to several countries of South-Eastern Europe. The capacity of the pipeline will amount to five billion cubic meters of gas per year.
TAP has already signed memorandums of understanding and cooperation with the developers of this project, in particular with companies of Plinacro (Croatia), BH-Gas (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Geoplin Plinovodi (Slovenia), as well as with the governments of Montenegro and Albania.
There has been created a TAP-IAP joint working group that gathers regularly to synchronize the timing both pipeline projects and coordinate the technical issues of interconnection.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn