TAP confident of bringing Azerbaijani gas to Europe without any risks

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 24 /Trend, A.Badalova/

Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is commercially and technically the most viable project in the Southern Gas Corridor, and can deliver Azerbaijani gas to Europe with the least risks, External Affairs and Communications Director of TAP, Michael Hoffmann said in an interview to Trend.

"We are very confident that both from the financial and technical point of view TAP has obvious strengths, and we are able to demonstrate to Shah Deniz consortium the capability to deliver the project without risk," Hoffmann said.

TAP is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into western Europe. Gas, which will be produced during the second stage of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development, is the main supply source for the project.

The initial pipeline capacity will be 10 billion cubic metres per year, expandable to 20 billion cubic metres per year. TAP's shareholders are EGL of Switzerland (42.5 percent), Norway's Statoil (42.5 percent) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15 percent).

On Oct. 1, TAP along with the other Southern Gas Corridor projects (Nabucco and ITGI) submitted the final proposals to the Shah Deniz Consortium, which will review them in accordance with the previously announced criteria. The decision on the preferable transportation route is expected to be made in the first quarter of 2012. Azerbaijan plans to export 10 billion cubic metres of gas within the Shah Deniz-2 project.

Hoffmann expressed the hope that there will not be any delays in making the decision.

"All the projects within the Southern Gas Corridor are very keen for the decision by Shah Deniz to be made as soon as possible. The longer we wait for the decision, the more uncertainty there is about realizing the Southern Gas Corridor," Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann stressed that TAP project is on schedule to make its important investment decision, in full alignment with the Shah Deniz Consortium's own schedule.

Talking about the other Southern Gas Corridor projects, Hoffmann said that "TAP will be open to possibilities of cooperation with other projects like SEEP for example, of course assuming that there is enough gas available to transport to all these markets."

Proposed by BP, SEEP envisages gas transportation through existing or expanded infrastructure of Turkey to the Balkan Peninsula, and then the distribution of gas to small buyers, including Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and others via the existing gas pipelines system.

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