Official: Intergovernmental agreement on TAP to cement strong political support for project
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 5 / Trend A.Badalova/
The signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will strengthen the strong political support for the project, a TAP official told Trend.
"From a political perspective, the signing of the IGA will cement the strong political support that builds on the Memorandum of Cooperation on the TAP project signed by Italy, Greece and Albania in September last year," Lisa Givert, Head of Communications at TAP project wrote Trend in an e-mail.
Givert did not disclose the exact date of the signing of IGA, however, she experessed the confidence that it will be signed this month in Athens.
Earlier Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos stated that the Intergovernmental Agreement on TAP will be signed on Feb.13.
According to Givert, the signing of the IGA will also reinforce the host governments' support for TAP from a legal and regulatory perspective.
"For TAP, this concludes the last remaining high level political agreement, which is important for the upcoming Shah Deniz consortium's selection process," Givert said.
TAP project 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 to be produced within the second phase of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development is considered as the main source for TAP.
TAP's initial pipeline capacity will be 10 billion cubic metres per year, but is easily expandable to 20 billion cubic metres per year. TAP's shareholders are AXPO of Switzerland (42.5 percent), Norway's Statoil (42.5 percent) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15 percent).
In case of selection of TAP as a final pipeline route to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe, the construction of the pipeline will start in 2015 with the first gas flowing by the end of 2018.
Shah Deniz consortium will make its final decision on the pipeline route in June, 2013.