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Minister Bonino welcomes announcement of TAP project selection

Minister Bonino has welcomed the announcement that the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project has been selected to build the European section of the Southern Gas Corridor. The pipeline will carry growing quantities of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by Albania on 23 May 2013 with Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina paves the way for the interconnection with the Adriatic-Ionian pipeline project. The entire project will be an important factor in security of energy supply for the countries of the Balkans, and make a significant contribution to the region’s development outlook.

“This is a concrete step towards the completion of the Southern Corridor, to the benefit of Europe’s energy security and competitiveness. And it is an important step in intensifying our bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, whose leading trade partner is Italy”. Speaking was Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, who added that “this is a clear success for ‘diplomacy for growth’. It sees the diplomatic and consular network working – along with the Ministry for Economic Development – at the service of the business community to grasp the potential that exists in the emerging economies”.

The Minister thanked the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marta Dassù, “for her effective, constant and consistent work in recent months to support the project. A project whose technical and commercial value has been clearly demonstrated today”.

The TAP project – considered by the European Union as being “of common interest” – envisages the construction of an 800 kilometre gas pipeline, 117 km of which under water. Its initial capacity of 10 billion cubic metres per year could be increased to 20 billion. The gas, which will reach Italy from the Caspian after crossing through Turkey, Greece and Albania, will transform our country into a European gas hub and, it is hoped, reduce Italy’s energy bill.

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