With TAP 99% Complete, Foreign Direct Investments Are Nowhere

The Albanian part of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is 99% complete. The news came from the consortium of companies that declared that 213 km out of the predicted 215 km have been constructed.

The total length of TAP is 878 km (Greece: 550 km; Albania 215 km; Adriatic Sea 105 kml Italy: 8 km). If the project keeps up this pace in the remaining months, it is expected that the first tests will take place during 2019, whereas, in 2020, the pipeline is expected to begin its activity.

TAP is part of the southern gas corridor and one of the most important energy projects of the EU. The pipeline will connect to the TANAP pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey, and transport the gas through Greece and Albania across the Adriatic to Italy, which will lead to a greater independence from Russian gas exports.

The total investments of TAP in the Albanian part of the pipeline are €1.5 billion, making it the biggest contributor to the stock of Foreign Direct Investments.

Albania’s involvement in this project has put the country on Europe’s energy map. The conclusion of construction and the investment spells bad news for Albania and its government, who will now have to attract new foreign investment.

The World Bank, IMF, US Embassy, and rating agencies Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s have all rang the alarm bell about a significant decrease in direct foreign investments. All recommend the implementation of reforms, fight against corruption, respect for property rights, and the strengthening of institutions as factors that would improve Albania’s investment climate.

So far, none of the FDIs promised by the Rama government have materialized.