The recent meeting between Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Mayor of Italy’s Melendugno city Marco Poti testifies to the commitment of the Italian government to implement the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, a high ranking source in Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR told Trend Aug. 3.
Conte has recently met with mayor of Italy’s Melendugno city, through which the pipeline will pass, the Italian media reported.
During the meeting, Conte stressed that the diversification of energy supplies to Italy is a strategic goal of the country.
In his turn, Poti said the laying of the pipeline will have some impact on the tourism sector and the environment.
Earlier, Italian ambassador to Azerbaijan Augusto Massari stressed that the difficulties, which occurred during the olive tree transplantation project, were solved and will not prevent its implementation. TAP Consortium is working on the transplantation and conservation of olive trees that grow along an 8-kilometer pipeline route, and then intends to return them to the original site when the work is completed.
"I am sure the meeting will have a positive impact on the implementation of the project,” the source said. “Earlier, such meetings were not held. But now Prime Minister Conte, in full accordance with what he said in Washington [at a meeting with US President Donald Trump], began to hold meetings with representatives of the local community. I am sure this is the way to achieve the necessary agreement.”
During a recent meeting with President Trump, Conte said he will hold meetings with representatives of the local community and the mayor to come to the common decision concerning the construction.
The Trump administration expects the project to be implemented on schedule. Trump expressed the hope that Italy will be able to build this competitive pipeline.
TAP, worth 4.5 billion euros, is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor. The pipeline will be connected to the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy’s south.
TAP will be 878 kilometers in length (Greece 550 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers).
The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of doubling it.
The construction of TAP is expected to complete in 2020 for the first Azerbaijani gas to be supplied to Europe that year.
TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).