Axpo: TAP to provide access to attractive sales markets

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, will provide an access to attractive sales markets, Swiss Axpo company, which holds 5 percent stake in TAP, told Trend.

“TAP represents an important portfolio diversification for Axpo and reduces the company’s dependence on the wholesale price for electricity. TAP will also provide access to attractive sales markets: In addition to the income generated by Axpo’s participation in the pipeline, we have secured a considerable volume of natural gas from the Shah Deniz gas field over the long term, which will be marketed by our trading department,” said the Swiss company.

Axpo said it has continuously expanded its business activities in the field of international gas trading over the years.

“A special focus is laid on LNG: Axpo has been active in the global LNG markets for almost ten years and offers tailor-made physical LNG supply and hedging solutions. Our LNG business is one of our most important strategic growth areas: With the closure of numerous coal-fired power plants expected in the medium term, LNG is expected to gain further importance as an energy source worldwide and to increase its market share in Europe as well,” said the company.

Axpo said its gas portfolio also includes distribution channels in most European countries and three modern gas-fired combined-cycle power plants in Italy.

“In recent years, Axpo has invested significant amounts in its Italian plants to optimize their more flexible operations. At present, much of Europe is still heavily dependent on coal, which causes significant greenhouse gas emissions. However, the IEA expects one third of existing coal-fired power plants in Europe to be shut down in the next few years. This offers the natural gas sector the opportunity to increase its market share,” said the company.

The Swiss company said gas-fired combined-cycle power plants have the great advantage that they can be used very flexibly on the market.

“In view of the increasingly irregular generation of energy from wind and solar power, such energy is currently in demand. Gas-fired combined cycle power plants emit significantly less carbon dioxide than the old oil-fired thermal power plants or the old coal-fired power plants. From a European perspective, natural gas is a good complement to renewable energies and, therefore, is seen in many countries as a key technology for energy system transformation,” said Axpo.

TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU). The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.

Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP will cross Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.

The project is currently in its construction phase, which started in 2016.

Once built, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).