The Agreement will define the terms and conditions under which the development, construction and operation of the pipeline will be secured through a legally binding framework.
The Albanian Commission for negotiations and TAP representatives held their initial meeting at the offices of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy in the capital Tirana on Wednesday 23rd November. Items under discussion were TAP’s implementation process of the gas value chain, including pre-construction activities as well as construction and operational requirements in Albania.
The parties endeavour to conclude the negotiations in compliance with the overall time table governed by the Shah Deniz Stage II project in Azerbaijan.
Nasip Naço, Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy of Albania (METE), said:
"Allow me to express my pleasure, given that today’s meeting marks the entering of a new phase for the TAP project itself, in its entirety, as today we are launching the negotiations for the Permit Agreement with one of the Host Countries of this project, and we happy that Albania is the first country to launch such negotiations."
"This is a new stage of positive development not only for the TAP project, but above all for establishing a new economic and energy dimension for our country. The realization of the TAP project is of a very special significance, as it does not only provide economic development through investments to be carried out, new work places that will open, income to be generated, but also because it is of strategic importance for the energy security across Europe, the Western Balkan region, and mainly Albania, where the latter not only has shown strong economic performance, but has become a stability factor in the region."
Kjetil Tungland, Managing Director of Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG, commented:
"We have an excellent and long-standing relationship with the Government of Albania and look forward to making further progress as our project gathers momentum. Albania has a vital role to play in opening up the Southern Gas Corridor, securing the energy future of the EU also including South East Europe."
"TAP will make a significant contribution to the Albanian economy, both in terms of investment and the development of its energy infrastructure and supply. We look forward to progressing our talks and concluding an agreement."
The start of negotiations for a Host Government Agreement is the latest in a number of positive developments for TAP in Albania this year:
- In July, a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation was signed with the Government to explore the possibility of connecting a major regional natural gas project, the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline, to TAP at a tie-in point in Albania.
- In September, Third Party Access Exemption (TPA) applications were submitted in Albania, as well as Greece and Italy, allowing TAP to enter into long-term ship-or-pay Gas Transportation Agreements with the shippers of Shah Deniz II gas.
- This summer, TAP also conducted a detailed Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in Albania that included liaison with national and regional authorities and a series of community meetings in towns and villages along the pipeline route.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a natural gas pipeline project that will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and 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 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.
TAP’s shareholders are EGL of Switzerland (42.5%), Norway’s Statoil (42.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%).
TAP’s transportation solution will be approximately 800 kilometres in length (Approx.: Greece 478 km; Albania 204 km; offshore Adriatic Sea 105 km; Italy 4 km). Transport will begin near the Greek-Turkish border (Komotini), cross Albania and the Adriatic Sea, and connect with the Italian natural gas distribution system near San Foca in Italy.
For further information, please contact:
Lisa Givert, Head of Communications, TAP: +41 79 536 60 16, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dorian Duçka, Director of Integration, METE, mobile: + 355 69 40 71 990, email@example.com