The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) intends to allocate loans worth up to €1.2 billion for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) this year, part of a US$40 billion project to bring new gas supplies to Europe, an EBRD official has said.
“The amount expected will be in the range of up to €500 million in a direct loan and up to €700 million in a syndicated loan, subject to final internal approvals. It’s expected to be approved towards the middle of the year,” Bruno Balvanera, EBRD Director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, told Reuters.
The EU is trying to reduce its dependence on Russian gas by developing the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, which is expected to bring around 16 billion m3 of gas to Europe per year from 2020.
The source of the gas will be the giant Shah Deniz 2 field in Azerbaijan; once complete TAP, the South Caucasus Pipeline that passes through Georgia, and the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) that goes through Turkey, will deliver the gas to Europe.
In 2017, the EBRD approved a US$500 million loan for the TANAP pipeline. Azeri gas flows to Turkey are expected to begin flowing through it in July 2018. The European Investment Bank approved a €1.5 billion loan for TAP earlier this month.
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