2 Nov 2017 17:07

Italy expecting Azerbaijani gas via TAP in 2020 - Azerbaijani Energy Min

BAKU. Nov 2 (Interfax) - Italy is expecting to receive Azerbaijani gas via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in 2020, the Azerbaijani Energy Ministry said in a statement.

Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Parviz Shakhbazov has discussed the progress of the TAP project with the Italian vice-president of Senate Linda Lanzillotta.

"During the meeting, the parties discussed the current progress of the project and the project's environmental impact. The construction of the TAP pipeline is 60% complete. Lanzillotta stressed that the Italian government is providing the project with the necessary support and expressed confidence that the pipeline in Italy will be to accept Azerbaijani gas in 2020," the statement said.

During the meeting it was also stated that the future expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor would strengthen Italy's position. The expiration of a long term contract, supplying 35 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Algerian gas to Italy in 2020, will make the TAP pipeline increasingly vital.

"All these factors as well as the increasing strategic importance of the project make clear the necessity of implementing all work according to schedule," the Energy Ministry statement said.

During the construction of the pipeline, issues arose in Italy, delaying the progress of work. These were related to environmental protection and required decisions from government agencies. The point of dispute was the transplantation of olive trees in the Apulia Region. The regional government of Apulia even filed a case with the Council of State that the approval for laying the TAP pipeline did not take the interests of the region into account. All disputed issues have now been resolved.