"The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) has played a catalyst role and represents a first success story of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Albania," Azerbaijani Ambassador to Albania Anar Huseynov said in an interview with Albanian Daily News.
According to him, TAP plays a crucial role in Europe's energy security:
"Outside the energy sector, both countries can explore potential for cooperation in other areas of mutual interest, including tourism, agriculture, joint investment, education, culture, and so on.
"For most of Azerbaijanis, Albania as a country in Europe still remains undiscovered, despite its beautiful nature, friendly people, and cooperation opportunities. As you mentioned, many Albanians also have limited knowledge about my country. So I suppose we have to take joint efforts through different means to raise awareness and strengthen people-to-people contact between our nations."
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline, part of the Southern Gas Corridor, is expected to transport 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Europe each year as part of the Shah Deniz-2 project. TAP, which will join the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the village of Kipoi on the Greek-Turkish border, will extend through Greece, Albania, the bottom of the Adriatic Sea, and Southern Italy.
The TAP pipeline's length, which was officially announced by the Shah Deniz consortium on June 28, 2013, is 878 kilometers. Of this, 550 km is in Greece, 215 km in Albania, 105 km in the Adriatic Sea, and 8 km in Italy. The highest point of the route in Albania is 1,800 meters above sea level, and the lowest point on the seabed is 820 meters below sea level.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 17, 2016, in Thessaloniki, Greece. It is expected that the first gas from Azerbaijan will be transported to Europe in late 2020 through TAP.
TAP will meet 33% of Bulgaria's gas needs, 20% of Greece's, and 10.5% of Italy's.