The "Missing Link"
Today’s natural gas pipeline systems that can transport gas from the Caspian region stretch only to the border with Greece, after transiting Turkey. Natural gas from Azerbaijan currently cannot reach European markets because there is no pipeline in place. Simply put, a link to Europe is missing between Greece and Italy.
Trans Adriatic Pipeline project proposes the most direct, logical and cost-effective connection for transportation of natural gas from the Caspian - starting at the Greek-Turkish border, transiting Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, and coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP will fill this gap in the Southern Europe and bring new gas supplies from the Caspian region, energy source which was not accessible to Europe before.
Directly linking to TANAP
Of course, any pipeline transporting Caspian gas to Europe will have to cross Turkey. A safe, sustainable, and affordable transit system regime is therefore paramount to realising the Southern Gas Corridor.
A significant process was made in June 2012 when Azerbaijan and Turkey signed the necessary Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to implement the Trans Anatolian gas pipeline project (TANAP), which will create a stable and secure dedicated infrastructure for gas across Turkey to the border with Greece. SOCAR, Botas and TPAO, the current developers of TANAP have invited other members of the Shah Deniz Consortium to join the project.
TAP has been designed to seamlessly interconnect with TANAP at the Turkish-Greek border. Both projects signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2012 establishing a technical and commercial cooperation between the two parties. This joint work has been extremely efficient and transparent.
TAP and TANAP teams meet regularly in Ankara to discuss progress and work together to align overall project schedules, understand the technical requirements of each project, identify and manage technical interfaces and liaise with host governments in relation to regulatory matters.