TAP and The Government Of Albania Sign MOUC On Energy Cooperation

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 22 Jul 2011 05:48
Tags: albania gas pipeline tap

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Trans Adriatic Pipeline and the government of Albania signed today in Tirana a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation (MOUC) with a focus on exploring possibilities for connecting the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP), a major regional natural gas project, to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline system at a tie-in point near Fier in Albania.

Earlier this year TAP signed similar agreements with other IAP participants, including Croatian gas system operator Plinacro Ltd, Bosnian gas system operator BH-Gas and the government of Montenegro. TAP supports the objectives of these countries in further developing the SEE regional gas market and integrating it to the EU energy market.

By having signed agreements with all four participants of the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline, TAP consolidates the framework necessary for the further development of the TAP and IAP’s interconnection. Next steps will include alignment of the projects’ schedules and technical specifications of the pipelines.

The IAP connection to TAP will provide SEE, a region heavily dependent on a single gas supplier, with new and reliable natural gas supplies from the Caspian region. What is more, it will bring major energy security and economic benefits to the region.

Recently, the significance of the IAP project was recognized by the Western Balkan Investment Framework (WBIF), which decided to grant the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline project 3.5 million Euro for the execution of a feasibility study and environmental impact assessment (EIA).

The TAP consortium, comprised of European energy leaders Statoil, E.ON Ruhrgas and EGL, is aimed at constructing a natural gas pipeline via Greece, Albania and Italy to bring Caspian gas to Europe. The pipeline will be a key component in opening the European Union-designated Southern Gas Corridor. TAP is envisaged with reverse-flow capabilities that will also support reliability in the region in the event of energy supply disruptions.

Under the terms of the MOUC, a joint working group will be established immediately to further evaluate areas of potential cooperation, ranging from the alignment of overall schedules and shar-ing of best practice, to facilitating the mutual understanding of each project’s technical require-ments. This will include capacity needs, new construction and upgrades of existing infrastructure, the coordination of maintenance, and environmental and social impact assessments.

Nasip Naço, Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy of Albania (METE), said in a statement:

“This Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation is a very important element in fulfilling the vision of the Albanian Government to guarantee the supply of energy resources and to transform Albania into a strategic country for energy in the region.

METE and the TAP project have had a long cooperation on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and Albania has fully supported all the technical and legal requirements in the framework of the development of the TAP project.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy has entered on 18 May 2010 into an Integrated Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with TAP AG, which has as its shareholders major energy companies, like Statoil, E-ON Ruhrgas and EGL.

METE and the TAP project recognize the strategic importance of the Republic of Albania to turn into a hub for energy security in the European Union and to diversify the sources and gas supply targets. Also, both parties recognize the importance of gas supply and interest generated from the fiscal income and the numerous economic benefits that the TAP project will bring to Albania. The TAP project investment is a very serious investment and it is estimated to be in the range of 1 billion euros, and it will bring multi-faceted benefits for all the countries it passes through. The potential arising from the possible connection of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline creates a positive synergy by making Albania a key hub for the gas networks in the South Eastern Europe. This will be the object of discussions of the Joint Working Group between the TAP project and the countries participating in the IAP project.”

Barnim Piechorowski, Business Development and Permitting Director of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project, said:

“The signing of this MOUC is a significant step towards the realisation of IAP, it provides the SEE region with the opportunity to get access to Caspian gas. On the other hand, it is also a key achievement for TAP, as it increases TAP’s value for gas suppliers with an interest in marketing own gas in that region. The Republic of Albania is a key country for both pipe-line projects and it will play a central role in the realisation of the Southern Gas Corridor, an essen-tial component of the European Union’s energy policy.”

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