Development of the natural gas sector in Albania and the TAP gas pipeline

The mainland stretch will start in the municipality of Devolli, in the Korça region, on the border with Greece, to land on the Adriatic coast, 17 kilometers northwest of Fier, up to 400 meters inland from the coast line. .

At the end of 2016, TAP completed the first phase of infrastructure redevelopment works in Albania, which includes the reconstruction of access roads, the construction and renovation of bridges.

More than 75% of the works had been completed at the end of July 2018.

The start of commercial activities of the TAP gas pipeline is expected on 31 December 2021.

Currently, the only distribution point of the TAP gas pipeline for Albania is located near the city of Fier, with expected distribution capacity between 0.3 and 0.6 BCM / year.

Two other distribution points are being studied by the Albanian State (one in the city of Coriza and the other near Berat), but for the moment there is nothing agreed with TAP, and in any case everything will depend on the future development of the gas sector in Albania.

As for the purchase price of gas by Albania, there are no clear indications for the moment.

On this issue, the only fixed point, at present, is the approval by the Regulatory Body for Energy (ERE) of the methods of determining the price of gas concerning transmission and distribution in the Albanian territory; however, it was specified that this methodology will not be applied to TAP.

From a more strictly regulatory point of view, although the EU Directives relating to the natural gas sector are not directly applicable to Albania, as a contracting party to the Energy Community Treaty, the latter is obliged to implement in the own internal legislation the cd EU Third Energy Package.

In execution of this, through the New Law on the Gas Sector (Law no. 102/2015, of 23.9.2015, “On the natural gas sector”), Albania has adopted the acquired community law (acquis communautaire) in matter, that is, the cd Gas Regulation, the EC Reg. No. 715/2009, on the conditions for access to natural gas distribution networks, and subsequent amendments.

From this concise picture, it emerges that TAP contributes significantly to making Albania an important energy node.

This implies an interesting opportunity for companies and qualified individuals to be involved in the implementation and management of one of the most important energy infrastructure projects in Europe.

On the other hand, according to a consolidated international practice, the involvement and enhancement of local entrepreneurship, in areas that are naturally not core business, but in sectors in which local skills and competitiveness are validated at market parameters, can greatly facilitate the possibility of making infrastructure investments by international operators in foreign countries.

In fact, the Institutions responsible for issuing the licenses essential for the construction and operation of the infrastructures essential to the business (in particular, the natural gas transportation and distribution system), carefully evaluate local content, interpreting it as an intelligent entrepreneurial approach, naturally attentive to the ability of host country companies when competitive on market parameters.

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