The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project is highly significant for Italy, as well as for the whole of the EU, Ziba Norman, director of the UK Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute, told Trend.
“Italy is now the third largest economy in the EU and the second largest consumer of gas in the EU after German since Brexit. The ability to diversify sources is therefore important for Italy, as well as the EU. After a low point in 2014, Italy’s consumption of gas has steadily increased, but this, as we can see, is about more than Italy’s own consumption of gas. The 8.8 billion cubic meters projected for 2020 could provide for roughly 10 percent of Italy’s total consumption, or even more as supplies can be easily increased,” she said.
Norman went on to add that gas should be welcomed as it is one of the cleaner forms of energy, and will reduce the usage of coal and other more polluting sources.
“It is highly likely that consumption, due to the CoVID-19 could be down worldwide, though longer term prospects and demand for gas should continue to be strong. It is important for Italy to be able to establish itself as an entry point for Europe. Equally, it is also significant for Azerbaijan as this deepens its ties with the the EU,” added the expert.
Italy will receive 8.8 billion cubic meters of gas via TAP, with supplies expected by late 2020. TAP project is 92 percent complete as of late January.
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).
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