Katerina Mouzouraki with fellow panel members. From left to right: Kai Markus Xiong, Extreme Athlete and Activist; Peter DeBrine, UNESCO World Heritage Centre; Patrick Fritz, UNWTO; Nikolaus Lohmann, Earth TV; Ahmed Eiweida, World Bank; Robert Travers, Tourism Consultant.
Mouzouraki presented the project’s many benefits and initiatives facilitating connectivity and growth. As a pipeline project crossing three countries (Greece, Albania and Italy) and connecting several markets, TAP brings numerous advantages: boosting local economies, enriching local infrastructure systems, supporting the growth of sectors with great potential and impact, such as tourism, and also contributing to a series of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
On the podium, showcasing how "a transnational gas pipeline project can affect, interact with, and contribute to other key sectors of the economy."
TAP’s presentation focused on four aspects of its construction and operation in the countries hosting the pipeline, to highlight how the project "significantly and in many ways enhances the local economies it affects," namely:
- the building, rehabilitating and/or upgrading of infrastructure, such as the road infrastructure programme implemented in Albania and the use of the Northern Greek ports of Thessaloniki, Kavala and Alexandroupolis for the delivery of line pipes, equipment and machinery.
- the conduct of archaeological works in the context of pipeline construction, thanks to which multiple and significant cultural heritage findings were unearthed, thus contributing to further enrichment of the touristic offer.
- the implementation of TAP’s extensive Social and Environmental Investments programme, in close collaboration with local communities; an investment that exceeds €55 million in all three host countries, addresses actual needs, and drives local growth – such as the MENA and Ho.Ma. projects implemented in Italy.
- the procurement of goods and services from local contractors and suppliers, providing them with both financial benefits and invaluable expertise, while also generating direct and indirect employment. Furthermore, via their involvement in the project, several businesses have been motivated and financed to upgrade their services. For example, this hotel in Serres, used by TAP and its contractor for the accommodation of their staff during construction.