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Greek Pipeline Deal With Italy, Albania

pipeGreece has signed a pipeline deal for Transadriatic Pipeline (TAP) project with Italy and Albania to deliver Caspian natural gas to the European Union. The signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens in the presence of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who is pushing for more investment deals to help Greece get out of its crushing economic crisis.
The gas pipeline is expected to transport natural gas from the Shah Deniz gas project in Azerbaijan to Europe and is expected to attract 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) worth of investment to Greece as well as lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs, the newspaper Kathimerini reported.
The deal was signed on Feb. 13 by Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, Albanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy Edmond Haxhinasto and Italy’s Economic Development Minister Corrado Passera.
TAP is being developed by Norway’s Statoil, Switzerland’s EGL AG and Germany’s E.ON Ruhrgas AG and plans to transport as much as 20 billion cubic meters of gas a year from the Turkish border to southern Italy through Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea. TAP officials said they did not yet have an estimate of the total cost of the project and added that, if selected, construction of the pipeline would start in 2015.
Samaras said the project would provide 1.5 billion euros ($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, the Associated Press reported. “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.
The Shah Deniz gas producers will decide in June which route to use to export their gas to Europe.

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