Baku, Azerbaijan, June 5
By Azad Hasanli – Trend:
Montenegro’s government is ready to do everything it takes to successfully implement the project of construction of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), says Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.
It is important to emphasize the strong interest of Montenegro to be part of the project, Markovic said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
He said this is actually the only way of supplying Montenegro with gas, and therefore the government is ready to do everything it takes to successfully implement the project, supporting in this regard the idea of the Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR about connecting the Caspian and Adriatic seas.
He said that functional Trans-Adriatic Pipeline is a prerequisite for building Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline.
"For this reason, the project is of crucial importance for Montenegro, as a precondition for the commencement of its energy development in this domain," he added. "That is why the talks have been launched between the management structures of two projects, with the intention to ensure the adequate level of cooperation, exchange of experience, and coordination of activities for the benefit of all parties involved."
Markovic said the Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline project has been recognized in the national energy strategy as a primary solution for the commencement of gas supply in Montenegro.
"It is a very important part of our energy policy, on which we have been working for almost a decade," he said. "Financing of the preliminary design for pipeline sections through Albania and Montenegro has been ensured through the Western Balkans Investment Framework."
He said that terms of reference are currently under preparation, on the basis of which a designer will be selected.
"In order to enhance the dynamics, the project management unit was formed last summer, consisting of representatives of Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, and the seat of its permanent secretariat is in Podgorica," Markovic said.
"We expect this unit to deliver concrete results quickly, which will lead to prompt commencement of the construction phase on this project," he said. "SOCAR is actively involved in the operation of the unit for implementation of the Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline project and we actively cooperate in this field. It is also very active in cooperation with the neighboring countries participating in the project, which is why expectations from SOCAR are very high across the region."
"First of all, we are talking about the great experience and know-how, which we expect to be transferred during the project implementation, and then of course, on specific business opportunities that such a large project brings," Markovic said.
The Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) is planned to be connected to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is intended for the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, in the Albanian city of Fier. SOCAR acts as one of IAP technical consultants.
IAP will provide deliveries of Azerbaijani gas to several countries of South-Eastern Europe. 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 Plinacro (Croatia), BH-Gas (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Geoplin Plinovodi (Slovenia), as well as with the governments of Montenegro and Albania.