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Albania Begins TAP Negotiations

Albania is the first country to begin negotiations on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), it has been announced.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy of Albania and TAP AG met yesterday to begin negotiations on a  a Host Government Agreement (HGA) for the implementation of the TAP project.

The HGA will set out the terms and conditions of the project and outline the development, construction and operation of the pipeline.

A joint statement by TAP and the Albanian ministry said that Albania hosted the meeting in capital city Tirana yesterday. During the meeting, pre-construction, construction and operational activities were also discussed.

Albanian Minister for Economy, Trade and Energy of Albania Nasip Naço welcomed the agreement, saying that the agreement marked a "new phase" for TAP.

"This is a new stage of positive development not only for the TAP project, but above all for establishing a new economic and energy dimension for our country," he said.

"The realization of the TAP project is of a very special significance, as it does not only provide economic development through investments to be carried out, new work places that will open, income to be generated, but also because it is of strategic importance for the energy security across Europe, the Western Balkan region, and mainly Albania, where the latter not only has shown strong economic performance, but has become a stability factor in the region."

MD for TAP Kjetil Tungland said that the agreement would help to secure European energy supply.

"We have an excellent and long-standing relationship with the Government of Albania and look forward to making further progress as our project gathers momentum," he said.

"Albania has a vital role to play in opening up the Southern Gas Corridor, securing the energy future of the EU also including South East Europe.

"TAP will make a significant contribution to the Albanian economy, both in terms of investment and the development of its energy infrastructure and supply. We look forward to progressing our talks and concluding an agreement."

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline is expected to transport between 10 and 20 billion cubic metres of gas annually across Greece, Albania, through the Adriatic Sea, ending in Italy.

The three shareholders in the project are EGL and Statoil, with a 42.5 percent stake each, and E.ON Ruhrgas, which holds the remaining 15 per cent. 

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