ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium defended itself after Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev’s statement earlier this week favoring the rival Nabucco West project in the multibillion dollar bid to carry Caspian gas to Europe.
“We remain fully confident that TAP offers the best commercial, technical and strategic advantages to the Shah Deniz Consortium and the Azerbaijani government as well as to European energy consumers,” TAP said in a statement, adding that Aliyev is not directly involved in the pipeline route selection process.
The Nabucco initiative recently revealed the Nabucco West plan, after Turkey and Azerbaijan
finalized the $7 billion Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline (TANAP) project, which is slated to carry gas to Turkey’s western border. Azerbaijan
has already shortlisted TAP and Nabucco West before reaching a final decision, which is expected soon.
“I consider Nabucco West to be the best option from all points of view,” Aliyev told reporters. “It has a large capacity, big diameter, and gives us the opportunity to deliver gas to Eastern and Central Europe. It’s a more reliable market for Azerbaijani gas.”
The TAP pipeline is designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year, the bidder said. Furthermore, TAP will bring Caspian gas not only to Italy but also potentially to other key Western European markets – depending on demand.
“[TAP] remains the only project in the Southern Gas Corridor which can physically transport significant volumes of Caspian gas to markets such as Germany and Switzerland through existing pipeline systems such as Transitgas,” TAP’s statement said.