Italian Snam considers stake of up to 20% in TAP
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 4
Italian gas infrastructure company Snam could take a stake of up to 20 percent in the project to build the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that will carry gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, its chief executive said on Thursday, Reuters reported.
CEO Carlo Malacarne said that as gas buyers are signing binding, long-term ship-or-pay contracts for the Azerbaijani gas, the transmission revenue is guaranteed, which opens the way for regulated infrastructure players like Snam to enter the project.
"We are ready to evaluate buying up to 20 percent of the project," Malacarne told Reuters at the Paris World Gas Conference.
The TAP project was selected by the consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development as the transportation route to the European markets.
The approximately 870 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP's shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (five percent). Construction of TAP is planned to begin in 2016.
The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it can easily be expanded to 20 billion cubic meters per year as the new volumes of gas come on stream.