EIB backs €1.5bn loan for TAP
9 February, 2018
The European Investment Bank last Tuesday approved a €1.5bn loan for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), news wires reported. It would be the first non-Russian gas pipeline to supply Europe since Algeria's Medgaz link nearly a decade ago, helping to dilute Gazprom's one-third share of Europe's gas market. TAP is slated to bring up to 10bn cubic metres of gas to Italy from Shah Deniz 2 in Azerbaijan, one of the world's largest gas fields developed by a BP-led consortium.
EIB Vice President Andrew McDowell told Reuters the TAP project would help to offset declining European production, provide a diversified source of gas and displace coal-fired power generation in central and south-eastern Europe. “The argument we are persuaded by, that made by the European Commission, is that it is simply not fair to leave large parts of Europe, particularly central and south-eastern Europe, at the mercy of a single supplier,” McDowell said. He added he hoped the EIB's stamp of approval would smooth the way for the €4.5bn ($5.57bn) pipeline to seek further financing from the market in the coming weeks.