Greece Backs Gid for Caspian Natural Gas Route as Pipeline Rivalry Intensifies
From The Washington Post
Greece, Italy and Albania signed an agreement Wednesday backing a proposed pipeline to transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea to western Europe, intensifying the rivalry with a competing project.
The 800-kilometer (500-mile) Trans-Adriatic pipeline system, or TAP, would have an initial annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters (353 cubic feet) of natural gas from Azerbaijan. The venture is run by consortium comprised by Germany’s E.ON Ruhrgas, Norway’s Statoil and the Swiss-based Axpo group.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said the project would provide €1.5 billion ($2.02 billion) of private investment in his country, which is suffering through a sixth year of recession.
“This will change Greece from a second-tier energy destination to a significant transit point,” Samaras said. “It will create 2,000 Greek jobs in the early stages of the project in regions that are suffering high rates of unemployment.”
TAP is widely seen as a competitor of the Nabucco West pipeline, a separate proposed project that would transport gas to Austria via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. Both are vying for the right to transport natural gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field to western Europe by 2019.
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