DESFA plan for TAP maintenance in Greece, Albania progressing

Talks between DESFA, Greece’s gas grid operator, and the TAP consortium concerning a prospective agreement offering operating and maintenance responsibilities of the pipeline’s segment running through Greek territory to the operator have entered the final stretch following a period of stagnancy, caused by a leadership change at TAP during the summer, sources have informed.

The operating and maintenance agreement between DESFA and the TAP consortium is expected to soon be signed, the sources added.

At the same time, legal and procedural matters concerning the establishment of a joint venture involving DESFA and Albania’s Albgaz to take on operating and maintenance duties for the TAP pipeline’s Albanian segment are gradually being resolved, the sources said.

As part of this arrangement, DESFA is expected to provide knowhow and training to the Greek-Albanian joint venture, whose headquarters are planned to be based in Tirana. A working group is believed to be currently examining the make-up of this new company.

Currently being constructed, the TAP pipeline, to cover 878 kilometers, will run through Greece’s north, Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to Italy, transporting natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe.