Following the start of commercial operations on November 15, today the 1st gas has reached Italy, via the Melendugno interconnection point with SNAM Rete Gas (SRG), as well as Greece and Bulgaria, via the Nea Mesimvria interconnection point with DESFA.
Azerbaijan gained direct access to the European gas market - the world's largest natural gas importer. For the country, that means an increase in national income, diversification of export routes and a boost to its’ economic independence.
Commenting on the 1st gas transportation via TAP, President of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev, said:
- SOCAR is proud of the successful completion of this historic mission
- 7 years ago, we made the final investment decision together with our partners
- we embarked on this journey by signing 25-year gas sales agreements with European gas distribution companies
- the construction of 3 interconnected gas pipelines across continents with a total length of 3,500 km was a highly complex endeavor
- the mission is accomplished - Azerbaijan’s natural gas has arrived to Europe
- coming from a new source through an alternative route, it will contribute to European energy security
- we anticipate a growing demand for additional gas volumes on the European market due to the constant local production decline
- our gas will fill this gap for decades to come, the importance of cooperation between the Old Continent and Azerbaijan will increase
The 2nd phase of the market test enabling the future expansion of TAP, doubling the pipeline’s capacity to 20 bcm/a, will be launched in summer 2021.
TAP will facilitate gas supplies to South Eastern European countries through prospective interconnectors. In particular, Bulgaria will be able to cover up to 33% of its total gas demand through the TAP pipeline after the completion of interconnector to Greece.
TAP’s exits in Greece and Albania together with the landfall in Italy provide multiple opportunities for further transport of Azerbaijan gas to the wider European markets.