Greece’s DESFA gas grid operator agreed on Thursday to help train employees of neighbouring Albania’s newly-created gas firm how to operate the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG’s Albanian section.
The end piece of the $40 billion Southern Gas Corridor, TAP will bring central Asian gas into Europe by 2020 via Greece and Albania to Italy’s Apulia southern region.
Greece’s DESFA was expected to offer its expertise to three-month-old Albgaz sh.a. and train its staff on how to operate the pipeline, the Energy Ministry said in a statement.
“This would help Albgaz sh.a. to perform all the operations in the Albanian section of TAP AG in a very short time,’ the energy ministry statement added.
Albgaz had had offers of cooperation from many European gas firms but it chose DESFA for this stage, a spokesman said.
Having Albgaz operate TAP here is part of re-negotiations between Albania and TAP, which brings their contract more in line with the one Greece had with TAP, an official told Reuters.
Albania and TAP AG also agreed TAP would double its investment for the communities its pipeline crosses to 14 million euros and Albania could renegotiate the profit tax every 10 years, but not increase it by more than 20 percent, he added.
Impoverished Albania, a NATO member seeking to join the European Union, is already seeing the benefits of TAP. Construction rose by 6.81 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 annually, helped mainly by major construction work for TAP.