Baku. 11 January. REPORT.AZ/ As one of Europe’s most strategic projects, TAP successfully completed financial close in December 2018, securing Euros 3.9 billion - the largest project finance agreed for a European infrastructure project in 2018, Report informs citing TAP consortium.
Luca Schieppati, TAP’s Managing Director, said: “With the financial close now achieved, TAP has reached another major milestone of the project’s progress. TAP has voluntarily committed to comply with environmental and social standards required by the international financial institutions. As such, all necessary assessments to substantiate this commitment have been undertaken and met by TAP. This also included a thorough environmental and social assessment. With project financing now concluded, TAP can progress to the final completion of the project and delivery of Shah Deniz II gas in 2020.”
The financing is provided by a group of 17 commercial banks, alongside the EBRD and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Part of the financing is covered by the export credit agencies - bpifrance, Euler Hermes and Sace.
Costs have previously been funded in full by TAP’s shareholders: BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).
TAP was advised by Société Générale (SG) as Financial Advisor and Allen & Overy as Legal Advisor; lenders were advised by Clifford Chance.
Notably, TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP’s routing can facilitate gas supply to several South Eastern European countries. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to the wider European market.
Once operational, the Southern Gas Corridor will offer a new source of competitively priced gas for the European Union energy market. The new energy link will increase diversity and security of supply especially in Southern Europe, currently reliant on a single supplier. TAP is recognised as a European Union Project of Common Interest (PCI).
TAP promotes economic development and job creation along the pipeline route; it is also a major source of foreign direct investment. With first gas to Georgia and Turkey now being delivered, first deliveries to Europe will follow in 2020.