Following the start of commercial operations last November, gas started to flow from Azerbaijan through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) at the end of December. The first gas has reached Greece and Bulgaria, via the Nea Mesimvria interconnection point with DESFA, as well as Italy, via the Melendugno interconnection point with SNAM Rete Gas (SRG).
“Today is a historic day for our project, as well as for our host countries and Europe’s energy landscape,” commented Luca Schieppati, TAP’s Managing Director. “TAP is an essential part of the continent’s gas network, contributing to the energy transition roadmap. We offer a reliable, direct and cost-effective transportation route to South-East European countries and beyond.”
TAP is a Transmission System Operator, providing capacity to shippers interested in transporting natural gas to multiple markets in Europe. As a new gas import route, the Southern Gas Corridor strengthens Europe’s energy security, its market integration, as well as EU’s decarbonisation efforts.
“The start of gas deliveries is a significant milestone for Europe’s gas market,” added Marija Savova, TAP’s Head of Commercial. “While we look forward to providing transportation services to shippers in the upcoming months and years, we also look forward to launching the second phase of our market test in the summer, which will enable the future expansion of TAP, doubling the pipeline’s capacity to 20 billion cubic metres per annum.”
“This is a historic milestone, with Azerbaijan and Europe now connected with a direct, safe and reliable energy link, that again demonstrates that together we can deliver the most complex mega-scale projects successfully,” said Gary Jones, bp’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.
The Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan is the starting point of Southern Gas Corridor. The field is expected to supply 16 bcm of gas to markets in the region and Europe.
“On this historic day, we express our deep gratitude to the partner companies, specialists and all our colleagues, who participated in TAP, Shah Deniz 2 and the Southern Gas Corridor projects, contributing to the first delivery of Azerbaijani gas to the European market,” underlined Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR, one of the shareholders of the Southern Gas Corridor.
“Seven years ago, we made the final investment decision together with our partners,” he recalled. “We embarked on this journey by signing 25-year gas sales agreements with European gas distribution companies. The construction of three interconnected gas pipelines across continents with a total length of 3,500-kilometres was a highly complex endeavour. Back then, some were sceptical about this project. Now the mission is accomplished – Azerbaijan’s natural gas has arrived in Europe. Coming from a new source through an alternative route, it will contribute to European energy security. We anticipate a growing demand for additional gas volumes on the European market due to the constant local production decline. Our gas will fill this gap for decades to come, and the importance of cooperation between the Old Continent and Azerbaijan will increase.”