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The Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) needs to be a priority project

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Dusko Markovic, Montenegro’s Prime Minister, has said that the government expects the construction of the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) and the overhaul of the railway infrastructure will improve economic cooperation in the Western Balkans and thus is a priority regional project.

He made the remarks during the Western Balkans Investment Summit, hosted at the headquarters of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, according to a government press release.

Markovic said that “From Montenegro's standpoint, a priority regional project is the Adriatic-Ionian Corridor, as well as the modernisation and expansion of railway infrastructure as a prerequisite for better economic integration and movement of people and goods, and linking to European corridors.”

Markovic emphasised that it is important to strengthen regional economic cooperation, because this should subsequently reinforce the stability of the region, simplify the functioning of the economy and contribute to faster economic growth.

The IAP is a proposed gas pipeline in southeastern Europe which, according to the current design, will flow from Albania through Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Split in Croatia. It is then expected that the pipeline will connect to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). IAP and TAP will involve the transfer to Europe of Azerbaijani gas as an alternative source to gas from Russia. The gas pipeline capacity will be 5 billion m3/y.

This pipeline project has been a proposed plan of the Energy Community for over a decade, however, the processes for its implementation will begin in 2018. A new company will be responsible for the creation of the IAP, and will be set up by companies operating gas systems, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro, in cooperation with the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic’s hydrocarbon company.

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