The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG will donate 92 utility vehicles to local communities in all three Northern Greek prefectures traversed by the pipeline, the company said on Wednesday during a press conference in Thessaloniki.
“Many years ago, very few outside Greece would bet that the country would be the best alternative for the South Corridor. Very few believed that Greece would host the largest part of one of the most important energy projects that are taking place at a global level. We believed it and our Greek partners did the same […],”TAP Greece Country Manager, Rikard Scoufias, said, adding that the project is progressing on schedule and within its budget.
The initiative, designed in close collaboration with the government and the competent ministries, is part of TAP’s 32-million-euro social and environmental investment (SEI) program to be implemented across project-affected areas. This investment amounts to 9 million euros, committed for the purchase of 33 ambulances, 22 garbage trucks, 17 forestry vehicles, 14 snow ploughs and 6 civil protection vehicles.
“We have an innovative approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The way we chose to approach CSR is neither the easiest nor the fastest thing to do, but it is the right one. When the project is completed, we want people to remember TAP not only as a gas pipeline that brings gas safely to Europe, but also as a good energy pipeline that benefits Greece and local communities. To do this, cooperation and initiatives are needed in four key areas: education, training, livelihoods, quality of life and environmental protection,” he added.
He also stressed the originality and significance of the approach TAP adopted in drafting its social and environmental investments program which begins and ends with local societies, in the context of TAP’s pursuit to invest in initiatives that meet the actual needs of local communities hosting the pipeline.
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Scoufias said the flow of gas from Shah Deniz is expected to start on time, in 2020. He also said that other energy projects undertaken by Greece, such as the East Med are “very exciting developments” happening in Greece.
“Of course we are focusing on building TAP, but I think it is also important to recognize that the TAP project, which is being built now, can of course serve as a catalyst for a number of other projects. I think what we can say is that when TAP was selected for the Southern Gas Corridor, thus becoming part of the largest energy project currently being developed in Europe, a huge number of opportunities opened, and we are pleased to see that Greece is positioning itself in this opportunity with a number of different projects. We wish the best of luck and that this will develop as well as we all hope,” he said.
The press conference attended by all three heads of the northern prefectures, Theodoros Karypidis of Western Macedonia, Apostolos Tzitzikostas of Central Macedonia, and Christos Metios of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.