TAP to boost Greek ‘geopolitical standing’, official highlights

Development of the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) project, to carry Azeri natural gas to Europe via Greece, promises to elevate the country’s geopolitical role, the pipeline’s country manager in Greece, Rikard Scoufias, told an Economist energy conference in Athens today.

Commenting on the cautious stance maintained by local authorities and residents over TAP’s impact on surrounding areas, Scoufias noted that 120 adjustments had been made “not because they were imposed on us, but because we wanted to make them,” He added that “the pipeline is safe. The land will be returned in its original state, possibly better. In some cases, trees will be removed,” referring to land leasing agreements to facilitate the project’s construction.

All expropriation payments will be paid by the TAP consortium three months before construction work begins, Scoufias said.

Approximately 300 companies have joined forces to contribute to the TAP project’s construction, he noted.

“TAP stands as an achievement of strategic importance for Greece and Europe. It takes into account all the specific needs of residents,” Scoufias told the conference.

Completing the project on time stands as a challenge, he noted, adding that “we have taken unprecedented steps. We are paying heed [to concerns], respecting them, and making a serious effort for the environment.”