TAP completes ESIA, concludes shareholder agreement

Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) on Jan. 21 submitted its environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for the Albanian section of the proposed natural gas pipeline to Albania’s national licensing center. The ESIA, conducted in consultation with local governments along TAP’s route, assesses the pipeline’s potential effects on the environment, cultural heritage, and socioeconomic development and proposes measures to avoid, reduce, or mitigate negative effects.

TAP will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further to Western Europe. The Albanian section will start at Bilisht Qender in the Korca region at the Albanian-Greek border and extend to the coast north of Fier. Total length of TAP’s onshore section in Albania will be 209 km, about 60 km offshore in the Albanian section of the Adriatic Sea.

TAP will accept public comments on the ESIA through Apr. 30. TAP expects to receive approval of the ESIA and respective environmental permits from the Albanian government in the next few months.

The pipeline and its shareholders—Axpo, Statoil, and E.On—also concluded a shareholder agreement with three members of the Shah Deniz consortium: State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), BP PLC, and Total SA. The agreement would take effect once SOCAR, BP, and Total decide to exercise their options to join the TAP joint venture, taking a combined stake of up to 50% in TAP AG.

TAP is part the broader southern gas corridor, which along with some combination of the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), and Nabucco West (OGJ Online, June 28, 2012), will transport Shah Deniz Stage 2 gas from Baku, Azerbaijan, to the European Union. The Shah Deniz consortium expects to make a final decision on the preferred European gas transportation route by midyear.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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