The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is not an internal matter of Italy, but a pan-European project supported by the European Commission, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan Farhad Mammadov told Trend, commenting on the recent skeptical statements of the new Italian government.
“This is a large consortium, which includes large multinational companies. This project is pan-European and is in the competence of the European Commission. If the new government of Italy has questions and makes skeptical statements, the European Commission, which lifted the project from the national level to the supranational one, must react first," Mammadov said.
He reminded that earlier, when SOCAR announced its willingness to participate in privatization of the gas distribution network of Greece, and successfully completed the first stage, having acquired 66 percent of DESFA shares, the third energy package of the European Union, according to which one company cannot be a supplier, distributor and seller of the goods, eventually made SOCAR cede 17 percent of the shares.
“This slowed the process down, resulting in the deal being thwarted. This was the fault of the European Commission. If they support the TAP project and seek to implement all strategic goals for diversification of gas supplies, they should influence the Italian government, so that the matter does not go beyond the statements and this gas pipeline is commissioned on time," said the director of the Center.
Mammadov pointed out that if the project is not completed on time, then the consortium will have to challenge all the issues that arise in court, because all the gas that must be transported by this gas pipeline is contracted and the periods of supply of this gas to the European market are clearly marked.
Earlier Reuters reported that Italian Environment Minister Sergio Costa said Italy’s involvement in the TAP would be reviewed along with some other major projects.
TAP worth 4.5 billion euros is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union. The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.
The pipeline will connect to the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy’s south.
TAP will be 878 kilometers in length (Greece 550 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers).
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).