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Thursday, June 20, 2013

TAP sees flurry of activity as Azeri decision nears


THESSALONIKI - The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) remains confident about its chances to deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to Europe as the consortium’s decision nears, a TAP official said.

“There is a lot of activity across the board,” TAP's Country Manager for Greece Rikard Scoufias told New Europe early on 20 June on the sidelines of the 7th annual South East Europe Energy Dialogue, organised by IENE in Thessaloniki.

“We anticipate that the decision will be taken by the 28 June,” Scoufias said. “We are very confident about TAP and the Greek route.”

TAP plans to connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy. It is designed to expand the capacity from 10 to 20 billion cubic metres per year.

Scoufias also welcomed that European gas infrastructure group Fluxys is considering taking a shareholding in TAP. Discussions between Fluxys’ and TAP’s shareholders began in 2012. These negotiations are proceeding with a view to include Fluxys as a shareholder in TAP shortly after the Shah Deniz Consortium has decided on the preferred European route to bring gas from Azerbaijan.

Fluxys is a major gas transit operator in Europe with activities in six countries and counts among the few operators combining gas transmission, gas storage and terminalling of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Fluxys and TAP are confident they will be able to finalise the necessary arrangements for Fluxys to join TAP by August 2013 subject to TAP being selected by Shah Deniz as preferred European pipeline route, TAP said.

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