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TAP Receives Resounding Political Endorsement from Host Countries

Senior ministers from the governments of Greece, Italy and Switzerland confirmed their countries' strategic interest in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

At a high level meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Corrado Passera, the Italian minister for economic development, together with Notis Mitarachi, the Greek deputy minister of economic development, and Walter Steinmann, Swiss Federal Office of Energy director reiterated their commitment for the realization of the TAP project.

SOCAR President, Rovnag Abdullayev; E.ON Ruhrgas AG board of management chairman Klaus Schäfer; and Axpo Trading AG CEO, Hans Schulz also attended the pipeline representatives' meeting.

"We met to discuss the tremendous progress that TAP has made in the last few months, including the Host Government Agreement with the Albanian Government on the 18th of January 2013," said Kjetil Tungland, TAP managing director.

"As shareholders in TAP we continue to strive to conclude all the necessary agreements with the Shah Deniz Consortium," Schulz, who also chairs the TAP Board of Directors, explained. He also reminded that in November 2012, the Shareholder Agreement - last in a trio of agreements - was also finalized.

"I believe that with the voiced support of the host countries, TAP is now in a strong position to win the bid in June 2013," E.ON Ruhrgas AG's Schäfer added, noting that he looks forward to the signing of the TAP Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) by the governments of Greece, Albania and Italy in February this year.

In addition, SOCAR's Abdulayev said that he was "very pleased to witness the strong commitment from all three governments" to move TAP forward.

TAP will open the Southern Gas Corridor and contribute to the diversification of gas supplies to Europe. Gas transported via the pipeline will also be available to the Swiss market and beyond, significantly increasing supply security for European consumers.

By mid-2013, the Shah Deniz consortium will make the final selection on their preferred gas transportation method to Europe.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a natural gas pipeline project that will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and Western Europe.

In addition, the project is designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 billion cubic meters per year. TAP also envisages physical reverse flow of up to 80 percent and the option of developing natural gas storage facilities in Albania to further ensure supply security during any operational interruption of gas deliveries.

TAP shareholders are Axpo of Switzerland with 42.5 percent, Norway's Statoil with 42.5 percent and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany with 15 percent.

Source: Trend

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