Albania expects all deadlines for TAP to be met – deputy energy minister (exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.13

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Albania believes that all deadlines set for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, which envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, will be met, Enis Aliko, deputy minister of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania, told Trend.

“TAP project has progressed quite well in Albania. TAP is approved as the Project of National Importance, it is also approved as part of the National Sectorial Plan for the gas sector, and was also granted the Complex Development Permit,” said the deputy minister.

He pointed out that all licenses and permits are in place and most private property issues have been resolved, or are in the process of being resolved, with the support of the government.

“The construction is at a good point: 62 percent of the pipeline has been welded, 52 percent of it has been laid in the ground and in 40 percent of its length, the land is already returned to the original status. We remain optimistic that all deadlines will be met,” added Aliko.

The deputy minister went on to add that the Southern Gas Corridor, of which TAP is an essential part, is extremely important to Albania because Albania is looking forward to the diversification of its energy supply, and gas is one of the alternative energy sources identified by the Albanian government.

He noted that currently Albania has some natural gas production, which is only sufficient for some local needs.

TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union. The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.

The pipeline will connect to the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy’s south.

TAP will be 878 kilometers in length (Greece 550 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers).

TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.

At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.

As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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