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Italy: an energy hub in the Mediterranean – Bonino in Baku to sign Azerbaijian-Europe gas pipeline project

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline(TAP), part of the pipeline linking Azerbaijian with Europe, is “a strategic project that represents an important contribution for Italy, both to cover our energy demand and to enable us to become an energy hub for southern Europe and the Mediterranean”. These were the words of Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, speaking in Baku at the official ceremony marking the signing of the final investment decision by the Shah Deniz Consortium on the project for a pipeline that will bring gas from Azerbaijian to Europe through Turkey, Greece and Italy.

Energy security and diversification of sources of supply

“Diversifying our sources of supply and transit routes is a key element in achieving greater energy security”, explained Bonino. She envisaged “regular supplies of gas from our traditional partners, but also from new, emerging producers”. Energy security and the development of strategic European infrastructure will be a priority of the Italian EU Presidency in 2014, following the semester chaired by Greece, our partner in developing the TAP.

Bonino–Aliyev meeting

The signing ceremony in Baku took place in the presence of Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev, with whom Bonino will also have a bilateral meeting. She will also be meeting her Azerbaijani colleague, Elmar Mammadyarov. Also present at the ceremony were the heads of state and government of Albania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Georgia. The Shah Deniz Consortium for the southern gas corridor includes the oil giants BP, Total, Statoil, Lukoil and Azerbaijan’s Socar. An investment of around 50 billion dollars is envisaged for the entire project, of which the TAP, which will bring the gas to Italy, is the last stretch.