EBRD considers lending 500 mln euro to TAP gas pipeline project

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it is considering providing a loan of up to 500 million euro ($590.5 million) to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project company to support the construction of the natural gas pipeline. The loan has passed concept review and structure review is pending, the EBRD said in a statement on Tuesday. The 878 km cross-border pipeline is an integral part of EU-defined Southern Gas Corridor - a strategic gas infrastructure project aimed at improving the security and diversity of the energy supply to Europe and Turkey. The Southern Gas Corridor consists of the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), which crosses Azerbaijan and Georgia, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), and TAP, which is projected to stretch from start from the Greek border with Turkey, run through Albania and the Adriatic Sea to reach Italy's coast. The present TAP shareholders are BP, Azerbaijan’s state company Socar and Italy’s Snam with 20% each, Belgium’s Fluxys with 19%, Spain’s Enagas with 16% and Swiss-based Axpo with 5%. TAP is the constructor, owner and operator of the project. Total investment of the consortium in Albania will stand at 400 million euro ($472 million) in each of 2017 and 2018, Albanian media quoted former TAP Albania country manager, Shkelqim Bozgo, as saying in August. During construction, Albania and Greece will receive 3.3 billion euro in foreign direct investment (FDI) (1.8 billion euro in Greece and 1.5 billion in Albania) as well as 2,000 jobs in Greece and 1,700 in Albania). The construction of the pipeline has led to the rehabilitation of 58 km of roads and 42 bridges in Albania, the EBRD noted. "Additionally, through the Project, the Bank will engage in policy dialogue to support capacity building of the Albanian TSO in the legal and regulatory areas. The Project has already prompted a considerable overhaul of the Albanian's energy system by inducing institutional, regulatory and legislative changes. The Bank will explore other initiatives that strengthen the energy market institutions of Albania."

Source: Seenews

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