Baku, Azerbaijan, May 17
United States welcomes groundbreaking of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) pipeline project in Thessaloniki, Greece, John Kirby, spokesman of the US State Department, said during a briefing.
"TAP is the final link in the Southern Corridor project, which will bring gas from Azerbaijan to other areas of Europe," he said.
"US remain committed to energy diversification on the European continent, which will increase Europe's energy security and advance regional stability and prosperity. And we look forward to watching this important project proceed, which will strengthen, we believe, the economies of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Greece, and Italy specifically," Kirby added.
TAP is the third part of the Southern Gas Corridor, envisaging Azerbaijani gas supplies to Europe, along with the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) and Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP).
TAP project envisages transportation of gas from the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to the EU countries.
The 870-kilometer pipeline will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy's south.
It is expected that the first gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field will reach Europe via TAP in 2020.
TAP's initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year, expandable to 20 billion cubic meters.
TAP shareholders are: BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).