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Albania looks to EU for gas pipeline funds

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

Albania's Energy Ministry on Friday presented a feasibility study for a €618 million gas corridor between Albania, Bosnia and Croatia, which it hopes the EU and US will support.

Albania's Ministry of Energy on Friday in Tirana unveiled a preliminary feasibility study for a proposed Ionian-Adriatic gas pipeline (IAP), hoping the EU may fund construction of the section of the pipeline between Albania and Montenegro.

Damian Gjiknuri, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said Albania had a strong interest in the pipeline project, which could help gasify the country. "We hope for support from the EU and the US [for the project]," he said.

The 511 km pipeline, expected to cost up to €618 million, aims to link the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) with Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia.

The feasibility study calls for a new pipeline with a capacity of 5 billion m3/yr from which Albania and Bosnia hope to consume 1 billion m3/yr each, Montenegro 0.5 billion m3/yr while Croatia, the biggest and the strongest economy in the Western Balkans, is expected to consume 2.5 billion m3/yr.

The US Ambassador to Tirana, Donald Lu, expressed America's support for the project, as a way to obtain a new source of energy that is not dependent on Russia, and as a means to strengthen regional energy collaboration.

The Albanian Energy Ministry said that, in collaboration with the European Commission, its Directory for Energy and the Ministry of Economy of Montenegro had presented a proposal to the Western Balkans Investment Framework, hoping it will finance the development of the project for the sections in Albania and Montenegro.

IAP is a proposed natural gas pipeline in southeastern Europe that will stretch from Fier in central Albania, through Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Split, Croatia. It will then be connected with TAP, which is currently being constructed in Albania, Greece and Italy in order to bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe.

Albanian Energy Minister Damian Gjiknuri said Friday that Albania had completed drafting a gas plan for the country, and had built good cooperation with both the energy community and the countries to be involved in the project.

This was the fourth management meeting for the IAP project and it was attended by many representatives of national and international institutions, donors and field experts.

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