Energy Ministry, TAP’s representative mull Azerbaijan’s role in Europe’s energy security

10 February 2021 13:37 (UTC+04:00)

By Ayya Lmahamad

Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov and the Managing Director of TAP AG that operates the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, Luca Schieppati, have held an online meeting, the ministry’s press service reported on February 9.

It was noted during the meeting that Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, as another energy link connecting Azerbaijan with Europe for a long time, will strengthen Azerbaijan’s strategic role in energy security, cooperation and sustainable development.

The participants of the meeting highly appreciated the completion of the work on TAP project on the scheduled time, and noted that the commencement of pipeline’s commercial operation was an important step in the commissioning of the Southern Gas Corridor.

Moreover, it was noted that the project is of strategic and economic importance for Europe, as it provides reliable access to new sources of natural gas and plays an important role in energy security, diversification of supplies and in reducing carbon emissions.

Furthermore, the parties briefed on the expansion of the TAP project- the increase of the pipeline’s total capacity to 20 billion cubic meters. In addition, the issues of conducting market tests that would allow to express the interests of natural gas suppliers, the fight against climate change, the “Green Agreement” on environmental protection and the restoration of energy markets was discussed.

It should be noted that the supply of Azerbaijan’s commercial gas to Europe through the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline started on December 31, 2020.

The Southern Gas Corridor is an initiative of the European Commission for a natural gas supply route from Caspian and Middle Eastern regions to Europe. The route from Azerbaijan to Europe consists of the South Caucasus Pipeline, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.

TAP is a pipeline project to transport natural gas, starting from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy and further to Western Europe.

The pipeline is supplied by natural gas from the second stage of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field development in the Azerbaijani section of Caspian Sea through the South Caucasus Pipeline and TANAP. Since it will enhance energy security and diversify gas supplies for several European markets, the TAP project is supported by the European institutions and seen as a "Project of Common Interest" and a part of the Southern Gas Corridor.

The total length of the pipeline is 878 kilometres, of which 550 kilometres is in Greece, 215 kilometres in Albania, 105 kilometres in offshore, and 8 kilometres in Italy. The offshore leg is laid at a maximum depth of 810 metres.

The initial capacity of the pipeline is about 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, with the option to expand the capacity up to 20 billion cubic metres.

TAP’s shareholders are BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

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Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

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