Details added (first version posted at 16:40)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 17
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is of geo-strategic importance for the entire region, said Alexis Tsipras, Greek prime minister, at the TAP groundbreaking ceremony in Thessaloniki, Greece, May 17.
The beginning of the pipeline's construction coincides with a crucial moment for the Greek economy and contributes to its successful recovery, said Tsipras.
TAP will help Greece to become an important energy hub, he said, adding it is important that the Greek companies are involved in the project's implementation and up to 8,000 jobs will be created during TAP's construction.
Tsipras stressed that the pipeline also enhances regional cooperation, so besides economic, it is also of geo-strategic importance.
Ten billion cubic meters of gas will be supplied via TAP at the first stage, the Greek PM said, adding that up to seven million households will be provided with gas in Europe.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in Thessaloniki, Greece, May 17.
Attending the ceremony were such high-ranking officials as Azerbaijan's Minister of Energy Natig Aliyev, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Greek Energy and Environment Minister Panos Skourletis, Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova, as well as the representatives of the project shareholder companies, including Rovnag Abdullayev, head of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR).
TAP is the third part of the Southern Gas Corridor, envisaging Azerbaijani gas supplies to Europe, along with the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) and Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP).
TAP project envisages transportation of gas from the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to the EU countries.
The 870-kilometer pipeline will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy's south.
It is expected that the first gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field will reach Europe via TAP in 2020.
TAP's initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year, expandable to 20 billion cubic meters.
TAP shareholders are: BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).