The Balkans: The new natural gas pipeline is being planned
At the 4th meeting of the Consultative Council on the ‘Southern Corridor’ in Baku, Ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, confirmed the need to complete the ‘Southern Corridor’, as, Maroš Šefčovič, vice-president of the European Commission and Energy Commissioner, noted, “the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project will make Europe stronger than before. SGC is a strategic project that will strengthen Europe’s energy security, and therefore the EU is supporting the project from the very beginning”.
And he added that “in the long run, our goal is to create a pan-European energy market based on the rules of free market, competition and diversified sources of energy and energy.”
“We are impressed with the progress made with the implementation of the Southern Corridor,” said U.S. diplomat Sue Saarnio, noting that “from the first moment we have supported Europe’s efforts to ensure its energy security.”
It is reminded that the Southern Corridor, which consists of the Trans Anatolian Pipeline and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, is the transfer to Europe via Turkey and the Balkans of the Azerbaijan gas as an alternative source to the Russian gas.
ΤΑΝΑΡ ready in July
The Trans Anatolian gas pipeline will be ready in six months from today, according to what the Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak has said in Baku. That is, within the original timetables, even earlier than the original plan.
The new pipeline is on track…
A new company, which will be set up by companies operating gas systems (the corresponding DESFA), Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro, in cooperation with SOCAR’s state-owned Azerbaijani hydrocarbon company, responsible for the creation/construction of the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline – IAP pipeline.
The parties involved co-signed the Letter of Intent of co-operation on the occasion of the 4th meeting of the Advisory Council for the Southern Corridor in Baku.
“SOCAR’s experience in the field of oil and gas is invaluable and we rely on its expertise and advice when it comes to natural gas”, said Dragica Sekulić, Minister of Economy of Montenegro. The minister added, “Azerbaijan has already demonstrated and proved that it is a serious investor in Montenegro and I expect that to be passed on to the energy sector, which would further strengthen our already very good economic relations.”
The IAP gas pipeline, according to the existing design, will flow from Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina to Albania to get to Split, Croatia, and then will be connected to the TAP and possibly with the LNG unit on the island of Krk in Croatia.
The pipeline capacity is initially estimated at 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.
The project, as a proposal, has been a plan of the Energy Community for over a decade, but, according to the Memorandum of Understanding that has been signed, the processes for its implementation will begin in 2018.
Already since 2006, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM, Albania and Kosovo form the so-called Energy Community, which aims to create an integrated European – Trans – Balkan energy market.
Co-operation of Albania-Azerbaijan
SOCAR’s know-how in Albania will be offered jointly by Albgaz and SOCAR to complete the construction of a gas pipeline linking Fier and Vlora in Albania as part of the ‘Southern Corridor’.
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