Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 9
By Zulfiyya Gurbanova - Trend:
Macedonia is interested in taking part in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as a partner, Macedonian Vice-Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski told reporters.
"Once the project is ready, we will express our intention to participate in it as a partner and will hold discussions," he said.
Stavreski went on to add that Azerbaijan and Macedonia are friendly countries that are stable both politically and economically.
"Despite the fact that last year the two countries signed two agreements on double taxation avoidance and investment promotion, the ties between Azerbaijan and Macedonia stand at a low level in these areas," he said.
"And the purpose of our visit is to develop bilateral relations in these areas and to stimulate the two countries' appropriate structures for them to make contribution to this process," Stavreski stressed.
He said the bilateral ties between Macedonia and Azerbaijan can particularly develop in the production and processing of agricultural products, as well as in the sector of tourism.
"Azerbaijani companies, having built their businesses in Macedonia, will be able to deliver their products to the European market, which has 650 million consumers," Stavreski said.
TAP is a project selected by the consortium, which develops the Azerbaijani 'Shah Deniz' field, as a route of gas transportation to the European markets.
The pipeline is meant to transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in southern Italy, and then going to the Western Europe.
TAP's total length will be 870 kilometres.
The construction of the pipeline is expected to start in 2016.
TAP's initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it can easily be expanded to 20 billion cubic meters per year.
Its shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (16 percent), Total (10 percent), E.ON (9 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).