TAP vital to European energy security
The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project, which envisages the transportation of gas from the second stage of development of Azerbaijan’s giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea to the European Union countries, has already ensured its strategic role in the EU’s energy security.
Recently, the TAP project, which is the western part of the Southern Gas Corridor that goes from the Greek/Turkish border to Italy through Albania, has been included in the European Commission’s list of 33 priority energy security Projects of Common Interest.
The EC, in a positive decision to grant exemption to the pipeline from third party access, highlighted the “overall positive impact for the EU of this investment as it is responding directly to the Security of Supply objective of diversification of gas sources, routes and counterparties”.
Also, the European Investment Bank reported that it is considering providing a 2 billion euro loan to the TAP project, pending approval from the Board of Directors of the bank.
All of these facts show EU desires for the implementation of TAP. As the pipeline’s fame increases by the day, countries show great interest in acquiring shares in the project.
In July, a source in the Turkish government told Trend that Turkey intends to acquire shares in the TAP project. The source said that the acquisition of a stake in TAP is a historic opportunity for Turkey, and Ankara is not going to miss it. Currently the issue is being considered, according to the source.
TAP is meant to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further to Western Europe. The pipeline’s total length is about 870 kilometers.
The construction of the pipeline is scheduled to start on May 16, 2016. TAP’s initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, expandable to 20 billion cubic meters per year.
The construction of TAP will not only provide European countries with Azerbaijani gas, but also pave the way for establishing a significant gas pipeline and infrastructure network in the region.
Shares of TAP are held by BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent), and Axpo (5 percent).
By Aynur Karimova