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TIRANA (Albania), January 3 (SeeNews) – Albania's infrastructure ministry said it is inviting bids for a public-private partnership (PPP), or a concession contract, reviving the idled Vlora thermal power plant (TPP) and for the construction of a gas pipeline between Vlora and Fier to link the plant to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
Albania plans to put into operation the Vlora TPP by feeding it with gas from the planned TAP, according to a master plan for the development of Albania's gas network posted on the ministry website.
The proposed term of the agreement will be 20 years and the maximum funding made available is 7.2 billion leks ($66.8 million/58.5 million euro), the ministry said in a tender notice published by the country’s public procurement agency on Monday.
The deadline for submission of bids is February 28.
The construction of the $130 million Vlora gas-fired TPP was completed in 2011 but the plant was never put into operation over technical issues. The TPP, with a capacity of 97.167 megawatts, was built with financing provided by the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the European Investment Bank.
The drafting of Albania's gas master plan has been financed through an EU grant of 1.1 million euro. The plan contains different scenarios covering the period until 2040. It sets as key priorities the construction of the national gas network and the participation in the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) after the construction of TAP, as well as gas connections with Kosovo and Macedonia.
According to the master plan, by 2040 the average annual gas consumption of Albania will reach 1.7 billion cubic meters.
With this expected development in mind, the Albanian government established a state owned company, Albgaz, in December 2016 to run as a combined operator for the transmission and distribution of natural gas in the country, according to local media reports.
In November, TAP said the pipeline project was nearly 82% completed and construction work was well underway
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The approximately 878km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in southern Italy.
TAP’s routing can facilitate gas supply to several countries in Southeast Europe, including Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia and others. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to some of the largest European markets such as Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.
The shareholders of TAP are BP, Azerbaijan’s state company Socar and Italy’s Snam with 20% each, Belgium’s Fluxys with 19%, Spain’s Enagas with 16% and Swiss-based Axpo with 5%.
($ = 0.87682 euro)