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TAP submits Environmental and Social Impact Assessment to the Albanian government

23 January 2013

On the 21st of January 2013 TAP officially submitted its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Albanian section of the proposed natural gas pipeline to the National Licensing Centre in Albania.

TAP with a group of Albanian and international experts developed the comprehensive ESIA report in accordance with the Albanian law and in compliance with the Environmental and Social Policy of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The objective of the ESIA is to assess potential impacts of the pipeline project on the environment, cultural heritage and socio-economic development and to propose measures in order to avoid, reduce or mitigate negative impacts.

The TAP pipeline will transport gas from Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further to Western Europe. Albanian section of the TAP pipeline will start at Bilisht Qendër in Korça region at the Albanian-Greek border. The landfall for the onshore part of the Albanian section will be located in the coastal area north of Fier. The total length of the TAP’s onshore section in Albania will be about 209 km and 60 km offshore in the Albanian section of the Adriatic Sea.
TAP is currently disclosing the full ESIA document to all affected communities along the pipeline route to make sure that their views and concerns are incorporated in the pipeline project development.
TAP has already disclosed the non-technical summary and relevant information on ESIA report to the residents of 83 communities in Korça, Skrapar, Berat, and Fier regions and to Albanian NGOs. Local governments were also involved in the consultation process - TAP discussed the report with 38 councils of the affected communes and they expressed support for the project.

In addition, local authorities in coordination with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Water Administration will organize a number public hearings on TAP’s ESIA by the end of February. The exact dates of these regional meetings will be announced in the local media.

Albert Haak, TAP’s Country Office Director for Albania, said: “The submission of the ESIA to the government of Albania is a great achievement for TAP. Several years of hard work on the pipeline route refinement and analysis resulted in this comprehensive and detailed ESIA report of about 4000 pages. We are now making every effort to present the it to the local communities and request their opinion. So far, the feedback has been very constructive and the project enjoys wide support.”

Once TAP’s ESIA application has been disclosed and discussed, TAP expects to receive approval of the ESIA and respective environmental permit from the Albanian government in the next few months.

How to provide comments:

TAP will be accepting comments from public on the ESIA Albania report until 30th of April 2013.

Any member of the affected community can review the ESIA report for Albania and provide their comments. TAP provides several options for doing this:

1) Download electronic version of the submitted ESIA application.

Download report in English

Download report in Albanian

Provide your feedback or questions on ESIA by email: esia-comments@tap-ag.com

2) Visit your local government office and request to review a hard copy of TAP’s ESIA report. Submit your feedback or questions to the provided “Comments box”, which will be collected by TAP.

About TAP

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a natural gas pipeline project. The pipeline plans to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into Western Europe. The project is aimed at enhancing security of supply as well as diversification of gas supplies for the European markets. TAP will open a new so-called Southern Gas Corridor to Europe and establish a new market outlet for natural gas from the Caspian Sea.

TAP’s shareholders are Axpo of Switzerland (42.5%), Norway’s Statoil (42.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%).

The project is designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year. TAP also envisages physical reverse flow of up to 80 per cent and the option to develop natural gas storage facilities in Albania to further ensure security of supply during any operational interruption of gas deliveries.

Currently, TAP is waiting to be selected as the preferred gas transportation solution by Shah Deniz Consortium in Azerbaijan in 2013. Once the final investment decision on the pipeline is made and all necessary approvals received, TAP will start the construction (expected in 2015).

TAP proposed route in Albania

TAP’s route in Albania was identified during extensive pipeline route refinement studies in 2009- 2012. In particular, special consideration was given to the avoidance of sensitive natural habitats.

Albanian section of the TAP pipeline will start at Bilisht Qendër in Korça region at the Albanian-Greek border. The landfall for the onshore part will be located in the coastal area north of Fier. TAP pipeline in Albania will be about 209 km long onshore and 60 km offshore in the Albanian section of the Adriatic Sea.

TAP will be one of the largest foreign direct investments in Albania and it will help to develop the country’s energy infrastructure and thereby foster economic growth by creating employment and developing local skills.

For media enquiries, please contact:Media@tap-ag.com