The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project will strengthen the energy security of Italy and the rest of Europe, managing director of the TAP Luca Schieppati told an energy conference.
“TAP will open a new source of supply to Italy,” he added.
As Italy’s contracts for supply of 35 billion cubic metres of gas would expire by 2020, the arrival of gas from Azerbaijan would strengthen the country’s energy security, Schieppati added.
The gas pipeline would also help Italy to achieve decarbonisation goals, he said.
The TAP accounted for the major part of foreign investments in Albania’s energy sector in the third quarter of last year, according to the Bank of Albania.
More than 90 per cent of foreign investments in Albania went to energy, finance and extractive sectors during the three months, the bank’s report said.
Schieppati said 473 km of pipe in Greece and 162 km in Albania had already been laid.
And 457 km and 156 km of pipe had been welded in Greece and Albania, respectively, he added.
The pipeline chief said preparation of the Italian construction site for the micro tunnel had been completed.
The Albanian energy sphere dominated the 2017 Q3’s inflow of foreign investment, mainly as a result of the investment for construction of the TAP, said the Bank of Albania.
Energy investment accounted for €193 million, or around 65 per cent of total investment, according to the official data.
The €4.5-billion TAP project is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the EU’s priority energy schemes, transporting gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz Stage 2. The European Union’s overall strategy is to reduce energy dependence on Russia, which has proved an increasingly unreliable partner since the 2014 seizure of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
The TAP is due to connect to the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before reaching southern Italy.
The pipeline is due to be 878 km, with 550 km in Greece, Albania 215km, the Adriatic Sea 105 km and just 8 km in Italy.
The TAP’s shareholders are BP with 20 per cent, Socar with 20 per cent, Italy’s Snam with 20 per cent, Fluxys at 19 per cent, Enagás 16 per cent and Axpo with 5 per cent.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering a €500-million loan for the pipeline. The European Investment Bank is also due to discuss the allocation of a €1.5-billion loan for the ambitious project.
TAP work in Albania. Picture credit: Wikimedia