The gas pipeline through Montenegro would cost more than EUR 210 million and would be 96 kilometers long. Minister of Capital Investments Ervin Ibrahimović told CdM that the Adriatic-Ionian gas pipeline IAP project is on the single list of priority infrastructure projects (Single Project Pipeline) of Montenegro, for the implementation of which the estimated funds in 2021 amounted to EUR 210 million.
– We believe that the mentioned amount, due to the global increase in the price of construction materials, is now higher, and we expect a more precise estimate during this year, when the revision of the existing documentation is also planned (conceptual solution and georesearch works, environmental impact assessment), which is necessary in order to the development of the main project has been started – the minister says.
The IAP project is planned, as he adds, to connect the Albanian city of Fiera and the Croatian city of Split with a gas pipeline, passing through the territories of Montenegro.
– The pipeline is planned as two-way, with a total length of about 511 km, where the section through Montenegro is about 96 km long, of which about 37 km of the pipeline would be laid under the sea (offshore). The total capacity of 5 billion m3/year should enable the supply of natural gas to Albania (1 billion m3), Montenegro (0.5 billion m3), southern Bosnia and Herzegovina (1 billion m3) and Croatia and further to Central Europe (2, 5 billion m3) – emphasizes Ibrahimović.
Ibrahimović notes that the revision of the documentation will determine the exit point, which will enable Montenegro to be supplied with natural gas.
– Montenegro does not have a built infrastructure for the use of natural gas at the moment, however, with the construction of the pipeline, preconditions for further use will be created – he states.
Gasification of Montenegro
According to him, with the implementation of the Adriatic-Ionian gas pipeline, Montenegro, as well as the entire region, would achieve significant benefits: first of all, in terms of strengthening energy security through the supply of natural gas and equally important reduction of environmental pollution through the diversification of the energy sector. Also, the implementation of the IAP project would enable market integration while strengthening cross-border cooperation.
The Energy Development Strategy of Montenegro until 2030 identifies the Adriatic-Ionian Gas Pipeline as the leading gasification option for Montenegro.
– The visit to Azerbaijan and the conversation with colleagues from the energy sector, but also the discussion itself and the participation of high officials from EU countries and the European Commission at the ministerial meeting is a clear signal of how high this project is on the list for further development and support in the international community – he says.
Ibrahimović told CdM that the Ioanian-Adriatic Pipeline (IAP Ioanian – Adriatic Pipeline) is an integral part of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP Trans – Adratic Pipeline). The implementation of the entire project enables the opening of a new energy corridor for the region of Southeast Europe within the Southern Gas Corridor, with the aim of establishing a new direction of natural gas supply from the Middle East and the Caspian region.
The IAP project is on the lists of projects of common interest between the contracting parties of the Energy Community and the member states of the European Union.
A complex project
Ibrahimović is clear – it is a very complex project, with extensive project documentation, which requires continuous cooperation with the countries of the region, but I believe that the dynamics of activities related to further implementation should be strengthened, and we have taken concrete steps in that direction.
– I will remind you that we recently proposed information to the government and appointed the state company Montenegro Bonus, for participation in the establishment of the regional company, as the official TSO (gas transmission system operator). In the establishment of the aforementioned regional company, in addition to the representatives of Montenegro, TSO representatives of Croatia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina would participate, with equal participation in the company, while the headquarters of the company would be in Split – said Ibrahimović for CdM.
He adds that the company would perform tasks related to the preparation of the construction of the gas pipeline that will pass through the territory of the Republic of Croatia, Montenegro and Albania, promoting and implementing activities of general interest for the contracting parties of the project, such as: communication with EU bodies (DG Energy, Energy Community Secretariat, ACER, ENTSOG, DG NEAR, etc.), participation in the working groups of competent authorities, cooperation with international bodies, companies, financial institutions and potential investors, and, if necessary, providing project documentation and other necessary research.
– Recognizing the obligations that Montenegro has as a signatory to the Paris Agreement and a candidate for EU membership, it is our strategic commitment to base the development of the energy sector on the principles of decarbonization and green energy transition – he points out.
Significant potentials of Montenegro
Regarding renewable energy sources, Ibrahimović notes that it is indisputable that our country has significant potential, both in wind, hydro, and solar energy.
– Currently, the ministry is intensively working on changes and creation of the legal framework, which will enable interested foreign investors to invest their capital in the development of “green” projects, with minimal business and bureaucratic barriers – says Ibrahimović.
He reminded that the secretariat of the Energy Community, in its annual report on implementation (2022), in which it monitors alignment with its legal acquis and the results achieved by our country, announced that Montenegro has the best overall result in the Energy Community, 69 percent, which is more incentive for us to continue in that direction.
– The complete geo-political situation, the emergence of COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, all this indicates to us the need for stronger engagement in this area. Experience teaches us that a stable energy system affects the economic stability of the country and vice versa. The key is to find a balance in the way we will develop these projects with careful design and planning, following the standards when it comes to environmental protection – concluded Ibrahimović in an interview for CdM.