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Greece approves intergovernmental agreement on TAP

11 April 2013 10:19 (UTC+04:00)
Greece approves intergovernmental agreement on TAP

The Greek Parliament ratified the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Albania, Italy and Greece on the construction and operation of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project on April 9.

The IGA between the three countries, which was signed in Athens on February 13, confirms the host countries' support for TAP and their cooperation for the project's timely implementation, TAP reported on Wednesday.

The ratification of the IGA by the Greek Parliament continues TAP's progress in the country, with the project now working on successfully completing the Host Government Agreement (HGA) with Greece. The HGA outlines the parameters of engagement between TAP and the Greek Government, such as permitting process, implementation of technical and safety standards and the land easement procedure.

At €1.5bn, TAP would constitute one of the largest current Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Greece and is expected to create 2,000 directly related new jobs and a further 10,000 peripheral new jobs in the Greek market.

TAP is competing to deliver gas from Azerbaijan into Europe, with a final selection of the gas transportation route expected late June by the Shah Deniz consortium in Azerbaijan.

TAP is the only pipeline option that will go through Greece.

"We thank the Greek Parliament for this swift ratification process," Kjetil Tungland, TAP's Managing Director said. "We maintain our confidence that the excellent collaboration with Greece will continue and that together we will provide Shah Deniz with the most compelling offer."

"This marks an important step towards the final decision by Shah Deniz and underlines the progress and advanced status of the TAP project," Michael Hoffmann, External Affairs Director for TAP said. "The ratification by the Greek Parliament emphasizes the common benefits TAP will bring and highlights our common values."

"The good relationship TAP has developed over the years with Greece continues with Parliament's ratification and reiterates the fact that together Greece and TAP can and will produce the best bid for Shah Deniz," Rikard Scoufias, TAP Country Manager for Greece said.

TAP project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into Western Europe. Gas to be produced within the second phase of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development is considered as the main source for TAP.

TAP's initial pipeline capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but is easily expandable to 20 billion cubic meters per year. TAP's shareholders are AXPO of Switzerland (42.5 percent), Norway's Statoil (42.5 percent) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15 percent).

The Albanian section of the pipeline will start at Bilisht Qendër in the Korça 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.

In case of choosing TAP as a final pipeline route to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe, the construction of the pipeline will start in 2015.

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