Azerbaijan, Baku, March 26 / Trend A. Badalova /
The Albanian Parliament ratified the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Albania, Italy and Greece on the construction and operation of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, TAP reported on Tuesday.
Signed in Athens on February 13, 2013, the tri-lateral IGA confirmed the three host countries' support for TAP and their cooperation for the project's timely implementation.
The ratification of the IGA follows the finalization of the Host Government Agreement (HGA), initialled in Tirana by TAP's Managing Director, Kjetil Tungland, and Albania's Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy, Edmond Haxhinasto, on January 18, 2013.
As the project progresses, the HGA sets out the parameters of engagement between TAP and the Albanian Government, such as permitting process, implementation of technical and safety standards or land easement procedure.
According to Kjetil Tungland, TAP's Managing Director the ratification of the IGA represents a key element in TAP's Decision Support Package submission to the consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development at the end of this month ensuring a compelling offer.
"We are pleased to receive this strong endorsement and are confident that our excellent collaboration will continue," he said.
Michael Hoffmann, External Affairs Director for TAP said that the IGA ratification by the Albanian Parliament demonstrates once again TAP's increasingly advanced status.
"It is important to underline that the Parliament gave its unanimous approval for the IGA. This is extremely rare and once again illustrates the very strong commitment of the Albanian authorities in making TAP a reality," Hoffmann 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. TAP's initial pipeline capacity will be 10 billion cubic metres per year, but it 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).