Albania starts to prepare the Gas Master Plan

Albania starts to prepare the Gas Master Plan

Tirana, 2 June 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

In the West Balkan Investment Framework (WBIF), the European Investment Bank has authorized the preparation of a Gas Master Plan for Albania and an Identification Project Plan.

The project funded by the European Commission with a budget of 1,1 million Euros, will prepare a short term comprehensive master plan for natural gas.

This project envisages all technical, legal, regulatory, economic, social and market aspects, which relate to the introduction of gas in several regions of Albania.

Ministry of Energy, Damian Gjiknuri said today that the project is in line with the strategic objectives of Albania in the energy sector. He declared that during the preparation of the agreement for the gas Master Plan, a portfolio will also be prepared and approved for the gas investment project, to enable the government of Albania to attract financial sources in order to implement these gas network projects.

This project is being applied upon the request of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which can act as a potential funder for primary projects which will be involved in the study preparation.

Besides the respective ministries, other beneficiaries of this project will be the Energy Regulatory Authority and Albpetrol.

The development of domestic knowledge, skills and expertise within these institutions in Albania in relation to the development of the gas system is a key aspect of the technical assistance which will be secured.

The study will examine potential gas resources in Albania and includes domestic exploration, gas from the Ionian-Adriatic pipeline (after the construction), supplies through TAP/TANAP, a potential underground storage of gas and the terminal of Liquid Natural Gas.

The forecast of the demand for future gas consumption in the country will examine every large sector of the country, including services and industry and it will assess the benefits from the stimulus in passing from electric energy to gas, to determine the gas price (wholesale and retail) and the incentive for the efficiency of the final use of energy.

There will also be a good urban itinerary and plan of the system of transmission and distribution of gas aiming at the gas network with a lower cost and in the most efficient economic way and with the least impact on the environment.

The project has been projected to be completed in November 2016. It relates to the feasibility study completed before by WBIF for the Ionian-Adriatic pipeline (Croatia-BH-Montenegro-Albania), with the Feasibility Study for the GNL Terminal in Krk in Croatia, with the EC ongoing project for the Gas Ring and the study of the Gas Master Plan in Montenegro, which started in November 2014 which is being carried out by the technical assistance of the Project Unit for Infrastructure (IPF3) which is implemented by COWI Consortium.

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Albania lacks a network of gas supply in all state institutions and in all detached homes or apartment blocks.

During the communist regime, there weren’t any plans to build a network of gas pipelines, but even during these 23 years following the fall of communism, authorities didn’t take measures in order for the new apartment blocks, which have been numerous, to be equipped with a gas network included in the services sold to residents.

The government has declared that in Albania, the implementation of TAP will cost around 1 billion USD and is expected to create around 20 thousand jobs. This investment is expected to encourage economy in general in the areas where it will pass. Benefits relate to employment, creation of infrastructure and development of local potentials. /ibna/