The Albanian Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project have signed the Host Government Agreement (HGA), formally agreeing the terms of engagement for the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline’s future delivery.
The HGA sets out the regulations by which the project will be realised and operated on Albanian territory. This includes processes on land easement and acquisition, the implementation of technical, safety, environmental, and social standards and permitting regulations. Upon ratification by the national parliament in the coming weeks, the HGA will become a fully binding law.
The Albanian section of the over 800 km long pipeline will start at Bilisht QendÃ«r in the KorcÌ§a region at the Albanian-Greek border, and will stretch 209 km to the coastal area north of Fier, from where it will cross the Adriatic. The Albanian offshore section will be 60 km in length.
TAP is one of the largest sources of foreign investment in Albania, and – if constructed – would provide a major source of revenue to the country. During construction TAP will stimulate employment in a range of direct and indirect industries including manufacturing and utilities, transport, communications, and financial and business services. It will also contribute to the development of Albanian roads and other infrastructure.
Furthermore, the project would play a major role in developing Albania’s energy market and facilitating the Government’s objective of becoming a gas hub for South East Europe. Planned exit points in the country and a reverse flow facility will help to ensure security of supply, while there is also an option to develop natural gas storage facilities in Fier.
TAP’s Managing Director Kjetil Tungland said “Today is another important milestone in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project’s delivery, demonstrating again our readiness to meet the Shah Deniz Consortium’s timetable.
“We would like to thank the Albanian Government for its continuing support in realising today’s agreement and look forward to working closely with it in realizing TAP, and all of the benefits it will bring for Albania.”
TAP will enhance Europe’s energy security and diversity by providing a new source of gas. The pipeline will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II development in Azerbaijan, through Greece and Albania to Italy, from where it can be transported further into Western Europe.
TAP’s shareholders are Axpo of Switzerland (42.5 per cent), Norway’s Statoil (42.5 per cent) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15 per cent).