US Concerned by TAP 'Difficulties'
The US is closely following the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, and its support by Washington remains stable and long-lasting, US ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta said at an April 13 meeting with the country's energy minister Natig Aliyev, according to a statement from the ministry's press service.
Cekuta asked about the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor. Aliyev noted the satisfactory level of work on the Shah Deniz-2 project, the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of TANAP, but expressed concern over some difficulties with implementing the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project in Italy which he said could affect the launch of the Southern Gas Corridor.
The minister highly appraised Italian economic development minister Carlo Calenda's support for TAP's construction plans and noted that the holding of a third meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor consultative council provided an impetus to speeding up work on the project.
US Ambassador to Baku since 2015, Robert Cekuta (Photo credit: US State Dept)
Cekuta, in turn, said the US too is closely monitoring implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, noting US long-term support for the project. According to ministry's statement, during the meeting the parties also discussed a conference in Houston on offshore technologies to be held in early May, energy sector cooperation, energy security issues, and the situation in the world energy market.
TAP's developer admitted last week it had "temporarily" halted the moving of olive trees in southeast Italy, following an April 6 local court ruling, even though moving the olive trees now is necessary to keep to its construction schedule.