TAP's Fier exit point needed to materialize Albania’s master plan: S&P Global Platts

TAP's Fier exit point needed to materialize Albania’s master plan: S&P Global Platts

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept.14

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline’s (TAP) first 10 Bcm/year phase is designed only to pass through Albania, without delivering any gas into the country itself, Trend reports citing S&P Global Platts.

“Furthermore, Albania’s master plan will materialize only if Tirana realizes an exit point along the TAP pipeline as part of the second 10 Bcm/year phase of TAP, currently under consideration.

“In 2019, the developer of TAP ran a non-binding test to gauge market interest in an expansion of TAP by a further 10 Bcm/year. Shippers expressed interest in creating a new exit point at Fier in Albania that could carry some 1 Bcm/year of gas in the 2025-26 to 2049-50 period. Shippers also asked for the opening of a second exit point at Korca, with 0.6 Bcm/year of forward firm capacity for the same period. A binding phase of the test for TAP phase 2 is expected in July 2021. Should Albania win access to TAP gas, a further project could take off: the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) – a proposed 5 Bcm/year bidirectional pipeline planned to stretch from Fier to Croatia, crossing Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. The pipeline has the backing of Azerbaijan’s state-owned Socar.

“Albgaz, meanwhile, is making plans. In 2018, the company opened a tender to select an international qualified partner to support the company in the operation and maintenance of Albania’s existing pipelines. The partnership, Albgaz said, would also facilitate potential future collaboration for the development of the country’s gas market. Italian grid operator Snam was the selected partner and in June 2018 a deal was signed by the two TSOs,” said S&P Global Platts.

TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU). The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.

Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP will cross Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.

The project is currently in its construction phase, which started in 2016.

Once built, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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