By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has said that it’s important to complete the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) – a key component of the Southern Gas Corridor - on an agreed schedule, local media reported citing the ministry.
Mammadyarov made the remarks during the meeting with the delegation led by President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate of Italy Vito Petrocelli in Baku.
During the meeting, Minister Elmar Mammadyarov spoke about the regional transport and transit projects implemented with Azerbaijan’s initiative and participation as well as the development of East-West connectivity strategy. The minister further emphasized the high level of relations between Azerbaijan and Italy and noted the importance of further development of these relations in the future.
In his turn, Vito Petrocelli noted that the representatives of the Parliament fully support the development of cooperation between the two countries. Petrocelli emphasized that Azerbaijan and Italy have similar approach to the "One belt - one way" project and expressed satisfaction with Azerbaijan’s support for this project.
Along with the necessity of strengthening the economic and trade relations, the importance of developing relations in cultural sphere and people-to-people contacts were also highlighted during the meeting.
Italian delegation also included the member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Gianluca Ferrara, and the Deputy Head of the Senate Secretariat of the Foreign Affairs Committee Gianluca Polverari.
The sides further spoke about the cooperation between Azerbaijan and European Union and Italy’s contribution to this cooperation. The parties also exchanged views on regional security and issues of mutual interest.
Worth 4.5 billion euros, TAP is a part of Southern Gas Corridor project that envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijani Shah Deniz-2 gas field to Greece and southern Italy across the Adriatic Sea through Greece and Albania, and involves designing, construction and operation of the natural gas pipeline.
TAP project 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.
The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of doubling it. About 90 percent of TAP pipeline construction works were implemented.
TAP may bring a net profit of 238 million euros after the first year of operation, that is, in 2021, according to the estimates of one of the partners of the TAP AG consortium.
TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG is a joint venture company registered in Baar, canton Zug, Switzerland, with a purpose of planning, developing and building the TAP pipeline.
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