EC approves Trans Adriatic Pipeline

The European Commission yesterday  approved the Host Government Agreement between Greece and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium in a move that gives the green light to the construction of the new gas pipeline along the bed of the Adriatic from Greece and Albania to Italy that is intended to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russia for its energy requirements by providing a direct supply of gas from the Caspian Sea.
The agreement sets out how the consortium  will construct and operate the pipeline and provides TAP with a specific tax regime for  the first 25 years of commercial operations.“The European Commission has found the Host Government Agreement between the Greek authorities and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline to be in line with EU state aid rules,” the EC  said in a statement posted on its website. “The project will improve the security and diversity of EU energy supplies without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.”
The 870km TAP pipeline is intended to transport natural gas from Azerbaijan’s  giant Shah Deniz 2 field in Azerbaijan to Europe and will hook up with theTrans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi.

EU Vice President Maros Sefcovic

“Today’s approval of the TAP agreement is an important step towards completing the Southern Gas Corridor [the 3500km  gas-value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe],” Maros Sefcovic, the EC  Vice President in charge of the  Energy Union is quoted as saying in the statement. “The Energy Union framework strategy of February 2015 identified this project as a key contribution to the EU’s energy security, bringing new routes and sources of gas to Europe.” 
The TAP consortium’s major  shareholders are SOCAR, Snam, BP, Fluxys, Enagás and Axpo, and work on the new pipeline is expected to begin in mid-2016.

Source: TREND