SOCAR to Work on Feasibility Study for Albania’s Gasification Master Plan
Azerbaijan and Albania will set up a special working group for preparation of the feasibility study for the master plan for developing Albania’s gas market, SOCAR said in a statement.
Two sides discussed the future development of Albania’s gas market and distribution system at the recent meeting in the capital Tirana.
Representatives of the European Commission, The Energy Community Secretariat, Trans Adriatic pipeline (TAP) company, Shah Deniz operator UK’s energy major BP, RD Shell, West Balkan investment framework (WBIF) joined to the discussions.
Albanian Minister of Energy and Industry Damian Gjiknuri praised Azerbaijan’s role in the development of the Southern Gas Corridor project that will strengthen the relations between the two countries.
He also expressed gratitude for SOCAR’s active support in the implementation of the master plan for setting Albania’s gas supply, the company statement says.
“The creation of a gas network in Albania will allow expanding the gas network of the Balkan region,” he has been quoted as saying.
Albania plays an important role in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project in South-Eastern Europe and Balkans, said Murad Heydarov, the advisor to SOCAR’s president.
“Azerbaijani government intends to make a contribution to the development of Albania’s gas market,” said Heydarov.
“Following the meeting, the sides agreed to create a special working group for the implementation of the feasibility study for the master plan,” SOCAR said.
Albania will be host-country for construction of European segment of the Southern gas corridor, which will bring Azerbaijani gas from Shah Deniz-2 field in Caspian to the EU through Turkey and Greece as well to reach Italy from Albania through the Adriatic Sea.
However , the Balkan nation could not be able to benefit from its geographical position due to lack of a national gas grid.
Last December Albania and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum of understanding providing cooperation in the development of a master plan for Albania’s gasification.
The financing of feasibility study for Albania’s gasification and master plan will be compiled by using European Union funds (WBIF). These two projects, said earlier the country energy minister, will totally change the energy map of Albania, a fact that will have impact in country’s economic development.
“Albanian government sees TAP as an opportunity for the diversification of the country’s energy resources and consolidation of the energy security,” Gjiknuri said.
Albanian government said it’s preparing draft-laws aimed at gasification of the country with the gas from Azerbaijan, through the European Trans Adriatic pipeline, which is expected to be functional in early 2020, West Balkans online dtt-net.com reported.
Not only setting national gas grid in Albania but creating underground gas storage facilities could be the part of master plan, the sources suggested.
TAP earlier considered the option and found it technically and commercially viable. The setting storage are not a part of Trans Adriatic pipeline project.
However, it would be useful for the pipeline company to have access to underground facilities along the pipeline route for secure and non-stop supply of consumers.