Interviewed by journalist Angelos Athanasopoulos, Scoufias cited hard collective work and sharp focus as the key for TAP being selected as the optimal route for the European leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, in conjunction with strong support from Greek authorities and TAP’s extensive outreach to interact and consult with local communities traversed by the pipeline. To that effect, almost 1,000 community meetings and more than 45,000 individual ones were held in affected localities, providing residents with detailed information for every step of the way. And TAP representatives not only explained to them the ins and outs of the project, but also listened and –where possible– incorporated the feedback received.
Asked about the project’s benefits for Greece, Rikard Scoufias summarised them under three categories:
- TAP is good for the country, as it is elevating Greece’s role in the European and global energy map, whilst contributing to the national economy by
- offering direct employment to almost 2,000 people;
- creating many more indirect jobs in multiple sectors;
- investing millions in procurement; and
- contributing in tax revenue.
- TAP is good for local communities, working in collaboration with them to roll out a voluntary €32 million Social and Environmental Investment (SEI) programme, developed to serve their needs.
- TAP is good for individuals and businesses, enabling future access to gas by building the necessary infrastructure and providing access points to the national grid system.
TAP’s Country Manager for Greece also commented on the project’s legacy, identifying it as
- a roadmap for further endeavours, inspiring confidence in other foreign investors to consider Greece and attracting investment option, by successfully concluding such an extensive and complex infrastructure project;
- empowering Greek companies with world-class expertise, thanks to their collaboration with TAP; and
- supporting the core target of energy diversification, and therefore contributing to the energy security of Greece, the region and the EU in general.
And all this, Rikard Scoufias noted, was achieved by conducting one of the most extensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) ever recorded in Greece; by ensuring fair compensation for all affected landed owners and land users; and by pushing boundaries as to how to implement such projects, with the involvement of local communities to the greatest possible extent.
About the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The approximately 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, including Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and others. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to some of the largest European markets such as Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.
TAP will promote economic development and job creation along the pipeline route; it will also be a major source of foreign direct investment. With first gas sales to Georgia and Turkey targeted for late 2018, first deliveries to Europe will follow around early 2020.
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).
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