The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) company successfully completed financing for the €3.9 billion TAP project in December last year, the company announced Friday in a statement.
A group of 17 commercial banks, alongside the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) provided the finance, which marked the largest amount agreed for a European infrastructure project in 2018, the statement said.
TAP will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field to Europe. The 878-kilometer-long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border, and will cross Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
"With project financing now concluded, TAP can progress to the final completion of the project and delivery of Shah Deniz II gas in 2020," TAP’s Managing Director Luca Schieppati said in a statement.
"TAP will set the foundation for an integrated gas market across south-eastern Europe and enhance the region’s strategic status as an energy hub," Nandita Parshad, EBRD managing director of Sustainable Infrastructure, said in the statement.
"We believe that gas remains an important transition fuel in this region that can help displace coal and facilitate penetration of renewables," she added.
TAP’s shareholders are BP, Azerbaijan's state-run oil firm SOCAR and Italian gas company Snam with each holding a 20 percent interest. Belgian gas transmission system operator Fluxys has a 19 percent interest, while Spanish energy firm Enagás has a 16 percent stake and Swiss energy company Axpo has a 5 percent interest.
Upon completion, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer-long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.
By Ovunc Kutlu