Fabio Tambone: Projects Like TAP Ease the Construction of a Common Market
An interview with Fabio Tambone, Head of Institutional International Relations Unit, Directorate for Institutional and External Relations at the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity, Gas and Water.
Mr. Tambone, do you think that the Southern Gas Corridor will be implemented within the scheduled deadline having in mind the current political situation?
We are working on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) infrastructure. The collaboration among Italy, Greece and Albania is very good. In the last few days, we received certification as independent TSO (transmission system operator) in all three countries. Now the project is ready and I think that in the next few months we will keep working on the network.
I think this project should be taken as a possible example for building up a real market all around this area, the Balkans and other parts of the EU. It is very important as it is the same discussion that is taking place inside all member states, even Bulgaria.
I think that projects like TAP are very important because these can ease the construction of the common market.
Do you think that TAP will really play a role for diversification of supplies?
Yes, of course, because one of the principles we are using for identification of new infrastructure in the Union is to widen the sources of new fields and new countries for the supply of gas.
Azerbaijan is one of the new possibilities, this possibility does not exclude any other possibilities. We are not against any other pipelines coming from the east.
The importance is to build up a system that works. I can ensure that TAP infrastructure, from a regulatory point of view, is working very well. Moreover, it is one of the possible projects that can be used for other interconnections in the southeast part of Europe.
This brings me back to an older idea which foresaw the inclusion of South Stream into the Southern Gas Corridor. Do you consider this possible within the framework of the recently signed memorandum of understanding on the Poseidon pipeline?
At the beginning when we received the proposal, the first idea was to build up the classical point to point connection. The pipeline would take gas from Azerbaijan through Greece and Albania to Italy with no other possibility to interconnect this pipeline with other part of the area.
Now, we are working exactly for making it possible. The idea of TAP is to be part of a wider infrastructure system. There are no hurdles for interconnection between TAP and any other pipeline.
From regulatory point of view, it should be necessary to find consumers willing to take gas from other sources, but for us this is completely possible.
Do you have any figures on the development of the gas market in the region?
The project can be doubled without problem, with the same pipeline we can deliver double the amount of gas initially foreseen (i.e. the capacity can be extended from 10 to 20 billion cubic metres). It depends on the change of demand, not only in Bulgaria, Greece and Italy, but also in other parts of the Balkans. This can happen if there is increased demand for gas for producing electricity.
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