Details added (first version posted at 11:12)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 16
By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:
Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR will be a technical consultant for Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) project, Murad Heydarov, head of SOCAR Balkan company, told reporters in Baku.
He added that the initial report has been already delivered and at the first stage, the proposals for the specific project were given.
"The specific project is the first line, which will connect the Trans Adriatic Pipeline’s (TAP) orifice in the territory of Albania to one of the industrial facilities in the country,” he added.
“The first pipeline will be built between the TAP’s orifice and the facility,” he said. “The feasibility study is being specifically prepared for this project, which will last less than a year."
Heydarov recalled that at the intergovernmental level Azerbaijan and Albania signed a memorandum on assisting Albania in the development of the gas market in the country.
"This process is part of the memorandum,” he added. “A special consultant is preparing a gas master-plan for the project, but SOCAR is a part of the committee for the master-plan implementation.”
“The issue of financing will be resolved later,” he added. “The master plan is being prepared through the EU grants but achieving the concrete results is another issue.”
“We will resolve this issue together with the European Commission and other donor organizations,” he said. “The issue must be resolved during the year.”
He said that for further work Albania needs to have an operator of transport networks, and the country doesn’t currently have it.
“SOCAR will provide assistance to this operator,” said the head of SOCAR Balkan. “A company that will buy and sell gas is also needed, but there is no such a company for now. In addition, a general national plan of gas supply of the country must be prepared.”
“One should also consider how appropriate gas supply throughout Albania is,” he said. “In the mountain area, for example, water resources are used, and perhaps there is no point in laying gas pipeline network across the whole territory of Albania.”
He added that the development of IAP and the development of the market of Montenegro and Albania are two related processes.
“The first string of the gas pipeline within Albania may become a prototype of the future of the IAP, and further projects on its territory can also be integrated into the overall concept of the IAP, the same goes for Montenegro,” Heydarov said.
“Feasibility study stage in Montenegro has been already completed,” he added. “The conclusion is simple - the development of domestic gas transport system of Montenegro can only be a part of the IAP. It makes no sense to conduct the two processes in parallel. We believe IAP and the development of the gas market of Montenegro and Albania to be a part of the extended Southern Gas Corridor.”
It is planned to connect IAP pipeline to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) intended for the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe in the Albanian city of Fier.
The IAP will provide deliveries of Azerbaijani gas to several countries of South-Eastern Europe.
The 516 kilometers-long pipeline will pass through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and will end in Croatia.
The capacity of the pipeline will amount to five billion cubic meters of gas per year.
TAP has already signed memorandums of understanding and cooperation with the developers of this project, in particular with companies of Plinacro (Croatia), BH-Gas (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Geoplin Plinovodi (Slovenia), as well as with the governments of Montenegro and Albania.
There has been created a TAP-IAP joint working group that gathers regularly to synchronize the timing both pipeline projects and coordinate the technical issues of interconnection.
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