Picture: TAP.

Source: list23, Reuters

Coming on the heels of Russia’s announcement that it is prepared to divert gas supplies from Europe if punitive sanctions are imposed on its economy and leaders, Luca Schieppati, the Managing Director of the 870-km long Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), said that TAP is ready to expand its capacity one year in advance if needed to meet market demand.

“We offered to the market to speed up the timings. We are willing to expand our capacity one year in advance, also because we already have the go ahead of the regulatory authorities,” Schieppati told the paper, adding TAP was ready to sign transport contracts from Oct. 1 should the market ask for it.

TAP is the final leg of a $40 billion project called the Southern Gas Corridor, the route linking Europe to a new gas source in the Caspian (Shah Deniz II). TAP stakeholders are BP, SOCAR, and Snam, with a 20% holding each, plus Fluxys with a 19% stake, Enagas with 16%, and Axpo with a 5% share.

The project enhances the security and diversification of gas supplies in the European market. The governments of Italy, Greece and Albania signed a tri-lateral intergovernmental agreement (IGA) in February 2013 to implement the TAP project on time. The Italian Parliament approved the ratification law on the IGA in December 2013.