News 09 Apr 13

Albania Seeks Azeri Blessing for Gas Pipeline

Prime Minister Sali Berisha on Sunday asked Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, to support construction of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline, TAP.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana
Albania Prime Minster Sali Berisha and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev

Meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Baku, Prime Minister Sali Berisha told President Aliyev that the TAP was a "feasible [project] with a wide and guaranteed market”.

On Friday, Albania finalized its host country agreement with TAP, a step which Berisha highlighted during his meeting with Aliyev.

Albania, Greece and Italy signed a memorandum of political support for the project in New York last year.

Its future now depends on its developers ability to secure ten million cubic meters of gas per year from the Shah Deniz fields in Azerbijan. The Shah Deniz consortium is holding sales negotiations with potential buyers of gas and expects to conclude talks with interested companies and countries by the end of 2013.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline project, will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into Western Europe.

The project is aimed at enhancing security of supply as well as diversification of gas supplies for the European markets.

TAP will open up a new so-called Southern Gas Corridor to Europe and establish a new market outlet for natural gas from the Caspian Sea and beyond.

The project is designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year. TAP also envisages physical reverse flow of up to 80 per cent and the option to develop natural gas storage facilities in Albania to further ensure security of supply.

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