Thursday, October 15, 2015

At a meeting on natural gas plans yesterday (14.10) in Athens, the Minister of Environment and Energy, Panos Skourletis, his Bulgarian counterpart, Temenuzhka Petkova, and the U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Amos Hochstein, discussed ways to speed-up the implementation of the Trans-Adriatic (TAP) and the Greek-Bulgarian (IGB) pipeline projects. 

Arguing that the TAP project is of major strategic importance and needs to be accelerated, Skourletis proposed an improvement of the terms addressing concerns of the local communities around the areas where the IGB pipeline will be constructed, and announced a new meeting at ministerial level in Sofia next week.

Hochstein said there was 'significant progress' regarding the IGB pipeline and urged the Greek government to address and resolve pending issues with TAP the soonest possible. 

The U.S. envoy, in an interview with Greek daily ‘To Vima’ before the meeting, urged Greece to take advantage of its energy opportunities in order to consolidate its dominant role in the region in energy and stressed the importance of accelerating the IBG and TAP projects along with the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) facilities in Greece.

"The IGB pipeline could offer some leverage for the TAP pipeline, so that Greece is not merely a transit country, but a ‘real player’ to offer a solution for energy security in Central and Eastern Europe", he noted.