TAP Progress is Music to Albanian Ears, Published by Krauthamer / Tol, on 17 August 2017
Much-needed investment is flowing into the Balkans but the pipeline still requires additional financing.
The Albanian leg of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, the Balkan country’s biggest foreign investment project, is on schedule, TAP said Tuesday.
Half of the onshore section is finished and construction of the offshore section is on track to start next year. The first deliveries of gas from Azerbaijan are expected in 2020, Xinhua reports.
The consortium of energy majors building the pipeline plans to invest 400 million euros ($470 million) in Albania this year and a similar amount in 2018, local media cited TAP’s country manager as saying Monday, according to SEE News. In all the project is projected to pump 1.5 billion euros into the local economy.
The pipeline is one of three that together will bring gas from Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea fields across Georgia, Turkey, Greece, and Albania to Italy in a major component of the EU-backed Southern Gas Corridor project.
Ratings firms predict TAP will help stabilize the economy of Albania, one of Europe’s poorest countries. Investments into the pipeline and other large energy projects should contribute to keeping economic growth at around 3.8 percent from 2017 to 2020, Standard & Poor’s said recently, according to Azernews.
Moody’s opines that “Ongoing reforms in the energy sector and efforts to diversify the country’s power supply through greater access to natural gas, with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline scheduled to begin operations in 2020, are expected to increase the country’s economic resiliency to external shocks.”
- Annual foreign direct investment in Albania averaged about $1 billion annually from 2008 to 2016, Spanish bank Santander reports.
- Low energy prices, and the risk of competition from Russia’s TurkStream pipeline, are making it harder for Azerbaijan to finance the Southern Gas Corridor, Chatham House Caucasus expert Zaur Shiriyev writes.
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