Restoration of relations between Greece and North Macedonia in the energy sector can begin with the resumption of the smooth interconnection of the networks of the two countries, which may also require the development of common infrastructures, said Greek Minister of Energy and Environment Giorgos Stathakis.
The minister said there is already a Memorandum of Understanding between Greek DESFA and Macedonian Energy Resources (MER).
He expressed intention to join the two networks and gradually integrate North Macedonia into the broader network, which includes the interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), with the prospect of expansion to Serbia and Romania and of course the interconnection of this infrastructure with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) pipeline, which is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, envisaging transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
Stathakis noted that the idea of triple interconnection is not exhausted. The Greek government, through this triple interconnection, sees North Macedonia as a key partner in transforming the South Balkans into a key energy transit hub.
TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU). The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.
Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP will cross Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.
The project is currently in its construction phase, which 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.
TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
IGB is a gas pipeline, which will allow Bulgaria to receive Azerbaijani gas, in particular, the gas produced from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 gas and condensate field. IGB is expected to be connected to TAP via which gas from the Shah Deniz field will be delivered to the European markets.
The initial capacity of IGB will be 3 billion cubic meters of gas.
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