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Albanian government, TAP sign Host Government Agreement

5 April 2013 18:50 (UTC+04:00)
Albanian government, TAP sign Host Government Agreement

By Aynur Jafarova

The Albanian Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project signed on Friday the Host Government Agreement (HGA), formally agreeing the terms of engagement for the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline's future delivery, TAP's website said.

According to the report, the HGA sets out the regulations by which the project will be realized and operated on Albanian territory. This includes processes on land easement and acquisition, the implementation of technical, safety environmental and social standards and permitting regulations.

Upon ratification by the national parliament in the coming weeks, the HGA will become a fully binding law, the report said.

"TAP is one of the largest sources of foreign investment in Albania, which would provide a major source of revenue to the country. During construction TAP will stimulate employment in a range of direct and indirect industries including manufacturing and utilities, transport, communications and financial and business services. It will also contribute to the development of Albanian roads and other infrastructure," the report said.

According to the report, the TAP project will play a major role in the development of Albania's energy market.

TAP's Managing Director Kjetil Tungland said at the signing that it is another important milestone in the TAP project's delivery, demonstrating again TAP's readiness to meet the Shah Deniz Consortium's timetable.

"As one of the largest sources of foreign investment into Albania to date, TAP will create any number of direct and indirect benefits including significant investment into the country and in the creation of jobs," Tungland said.

On March 26, Albania's parliament unanimously ratified the intergovernmental agreement signed with Italy and Greece on the construction and operation of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline.

Signed in Athens on February 13, 2013, the agreement confirmed the three host countries' support for TAP and their cooperation for the project's timely implementation.

TAP will enhance Europe's energy security and diversity by providing a new source of gas. The pipeline will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II development in Azerbaijan, through Greece and Albania to Italy, from where it can be transported further into Western Europe.

The Albanian section of the pipeline will start at Bilisht Qendër in the Korc¸a region at the Albanian-Greek border, and will stretch some 209km to the coastal area north of Fier where it will join the Adriatic. The Albanian offshore section will be 60km in length.

TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to the most attractive markets in Europe.

The pipeline will interconnect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea coming ashore in Southern Italy. TAP's routing can facilitate gas supply to several South Eastern European countries including Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and others. TAP's landfall in Italy, the third largest gas market in Europe, provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to some of the largest European markets such as Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.

Designed to expand the capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year, TAP will open up the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, which will enhance Europe's energy security by contributing to the diversification of the region's gas supplies.

TAP's shareholders are Axpo of Switzerland (42.5%), Norway's Statoil (42.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%).

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