April 29th, 2015

While the Italian government was approving the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) dismissing regional opposition, regulatory authorities in Albania, Greece and Italy released a joint opinion aimed at prolonging the validity period of TAP’s exemption from some provisions of the EU Gas Directive, following in the footsteps of the positive opinion expressed by the European Commission and the Energy Community Secretariat.

“TAP continues to comply with all the conditions set out in the exemption decision, as well as European regulation to which our project is subject” Lutz Landwehr, TAP’s Commercial Director, commented in a note.

Also on Wednesday, the pipeline connecting Azerbaijan and Europe overcame the objections presented by Puglia regional governor Nichi Vendola, who opposed the defined landing point over environmental concerns. Vendola said that the central government in Rome approved the TAP project with a landing point at Melendugno.

TAP said that the planned commencement date of Shah Deniz Phase 2 gas exports to Europe is expected in 2020.

In 2013, TAP secured an exemption from certain provisions of the EU Gas Directive [2009/73/EC], including a third party access exemption for the initial capacity of 10 billion cubic meters annually (bcm/a) for gas volumes from Azerbaijan supplied under the relevant Shah Deniz gas sales agreements over a period of 25 years.

Earlier this month, Italian Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi said that the Cabinet would have granted final authorisation for TAP by the end of May.