Italy welcomes TAP selection
Azerbaijan, Baku, 29 June / Trend /
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino has welcomed the selection of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project to build the European section of the Southern Gas Corridor, Italian Foreign Ministry reported. "The pipeline will carry growing quantities of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by Albania on 23 May 2013 with Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina paves the way for the interconnection with the Adriatic-Ionian pipeline project. The entire project will be an important factor in security of energy supply for the countries of the Balkans and make a significant contribution to the region's development outlook," according to the statement.
"This is a concrete step towards the completion of the Southern Corridor, to the benefit of Europe's energy security and competitiveness. And it is an important step in intensifying our bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, whose leading trade partner is Italy," Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said, adding that "this is a clear success for 'diplomacy for growth'. It sees the diplomatic and consular network working - along with the Ministry for Economic Development - at the service of the business community to grasp the potential that exists in the emerging economies".
The Minister thanked the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marta Dassù, "for her effective, constant and consistent work in recent months to support the project. A project whose technical and commercial value has been clearly demonstrated today".
The TAP project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to the south of Italy and further to Western Europe.
The gas produced within the second phase of development of Azerbaijani gas condensate field Shah Deniz is regarded as the main source for the project.
The TAP route will be approximately 870 kilometers in length (Greece 550 km; Albania 210 km; offshore Adriatic Sea 15km; Italy 5 km). TAP's initial pipeline capacity will total 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it will be easily expandable to 20 billion cubic meters 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).
TAP was competing with Nabucco West for the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe.