The European Investment Bank has decided to invest $ 1.5 billion in a natural gas pipeline linking Italy, Greece and Albania, although MEPs have requested an detailed examination of the project.

The Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP) is part of the Southern Gas Corridor and is a project of major importance in the EU. It is Greece’s largest energy project, and it is expected that it will contribute to the stabilization of the country’s economy – something that it definitely needs.

The EIB’s decision is part of a total package of € 6.5 billion, which will be distributed to a total of 36 projects in 17 European countries and schemes in Africa, Asia and South America.

In mid-December 2017, the EIB had already postponed its decision with the reason that the bank wanted to get acquainted with the project in more detail. Although a final decision has now been made, the giving of green light has awakened quite controversial reactions.

The project is often criticized by various environmental organizations in Italy, Albania and Greece. They call it “one of the largest European loans” and insist that we have to carefully assess how and for what the money will go for.

Among their worries are fears of increased greenhouse gas emissions and that the project may interfere with the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. However, the EIB is clear that it has the assurance that TAP project will operate under the strict environmental and social standards of the bank.

In addition, some MEPs consider that the funding for this and other infrastructure projects is too focused on gas supplies.

Bulgaria is also one of the countries interested in obtaining natural gas from the Caspian region. Deliveries of 1 billion cubic meters are planned and the quantities will be delivered via Turkey and eventually through Greece.

At present, there is still no infrastructure in place and just under 100,000 households can use gas. However, the diversification of energy sources must be a strategic priority for the country in the light of changing conditions.