BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 24. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a strategically and economically important projects for Europe, which creates a new equilibrium for the European countries, shifting the gas center from north more to the south, Gianmarco Donolato, Head of energy and environment division at Italian Geopolitica research center, told Trend.
According to the expert, TAP, as well as the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), were launched long before the war outbreak in Ukraine, which led to energy crisis in the region, and now they are providing Europe with energy security by means of diversification.
"Therefore, the current geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe can only accelerate processes that had already been going on. As the European section of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), TAP has the capacity to transport approximately 10 bcm of gas per year, but can potentially be expanded to 20 bcm," he said.
SGC's expansion potential is great and, at the same time, this initiative involves many partners, the expert said, adding that it will be beneficial, as well as challenging, as more interests will have to be taken into account.
"In this regard, Italy, Greece and Türkiye will be placed at the center of the energy market, which will require their active involvement in broader political processes," Donolato added.
The expert also pointed out that it will be beneficial for Azerbaijan to join such European initiative as the EU Global Gateway. As he explains, this might be a way to exploit the new trends at best and adapt Azerbaijan’s resources to the main European markets.
"Europe will not stop being such an important consumer and its market will not be disrupted overnight. Accompanying the transition and be part of it will be challenging, but might be beneficial in the long term," he concluded.
Azerbaijan’s gas exports to Europe started on December 31, 2020 with the commissioning of the SGC comprising, beside TAP, of the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion and TANAP.
Export of Azerbaijani gas to Europe amounted to 11.4 bcm from January through December 2022. In total, 22.3 bcm were exported from Azerbaijan in 2022.